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When you are weak then I am strong

At the start of 2001 I became very ill, and was taken into hospital. I had a severe kidney infection, which had damaged one of my kidneys, and it was also discovered that I had gallstones, and needed my gall bladder removed.

I was told that because I was not strong enough, I would not be able to have the operation until about July, and then had to join a waiting list. The doctors advised me that it would be best if I didn't go to India this year, as even if I'd had the operation my body would still need time to get over it.

Six weeks before we were due to go to India I had the operation due to a cancellation. This was an answer to prayer as people in my church were praying specifically that I would get a cancellation, have the operation and be well enough to make the trip to India. The operation went well, so I was able to take the place that had already been booked for me in faith - praise the Lord!

The women's conference was at the end of our two-week stay in India. We'd had a very busy schedule and I'd had several bouts of stomach upsets during the two weeks so was feeling tired and upset on the morning of the conference. I said to my husband, "I just want to go home now, I can't do anymore", when God reminded me of the scripture from 2 Cor.12:9, 'But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.' (NIV)

My message for the Women's Day was based on Mary Magdalene:

  • Jesus relates to women as he created them - as equal reflectors of God's image.
  • Women are vital to Jesus' ministry.
  • Those who are obedient grow in understanding.

I had done all the study and preparation for this message beforehand, and as always when preparing a message God spoke to me about areas of my life - but it wasn't until I stood up to give the message, in my weakness and his strength, that I realised how powerful these words were.

  • The women at the conference did not see the weak me, but the strong me in Jesus, the reflection of God's image - caring, loving, compassionate and faithful.
  • They did not see my weakness, but saw me as a vital part of Jesus' ministry.
  • In being obedient, doing the work God had called me to, he strengthened, enabled and empowered me to do it.

At the end of the conference we were asked to pray for the women. At the start of the day I had not been able to cope, but the word that God had reminded me of had been fulfilled. I was not weak but strong, able to cope, strong in the power and love of Jesus.

I had a wonderful day, God did many miracles that day, many women's lives were changed, and he had shown me that in my strength I can do nothing, but in his strength I can do all things.

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