“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
As I’ve said before, I love finding God’s truth in popular media. One place I’ve found it is Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series, which I recently finished. (Spoiler Alert: I will reveal part of the ending.) One of the characters in Paolini’s epic adventure is a child name Elva. The hero, Eragon, blesses Elva as a baby in an ancient and powerful language, sealing her destiny. But by mistake, Elva’s blessing becomes a curse. She is enchanted in such a way that she can sense the pain of those around her.
Elva’s unique ability makes life difficult for her to bear, but she must live with her burden, and she has the choice to use it for good or for evil. She ultimately decides to contribute her abilities to the forces attempting to overthrow the wicked emperor. Once their goal is accomplished, Eragon offers to remove the spell that caused her so much pain and suffering. But she refuses. She says, “I will never be like ordinary people. If I must be different, then let me keep that which sets me apart.” Elva realizes that the thing she most hated about herself was the one thing that allowed her to help others.
I think a lot of us can relate to Elva in that we feel burdened by a temptation, memory, or personal quirk. It may be something as small as a fear of heights or something as serious as history of abuse, but it has the power to make a person feel helpless and ashamed. Problems such as these were not brought on intentionally any more than Elva’s was. They are signs of a broken world– the consequence of Adam’s sin.
But as burdensome as our problems may be, God will use them for good if we allow him. Like Elva, we have a choice: to wallow in the misery of our own brokennes, or to allow God to transform us and make our weakness into strength.