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The Strangest Gift

It is in our weaknesses that Christ is most clearly revealed.

Introduction

In her book Tramp for the Lord, Corrie ten Boom tells the story of an old woman she met in Russia in the time of the Communist persecution of Christians during the Cold War:

The old woman was lying on a small sofa propped up by pillows. Her body was bent and twisted almost beyond recognition by the dread disease of multiple sclerosis. Her aged husband spent all his time caring for her since she was unable to move off the sofa … [The only part of her body she could control was her right hand. And with the index finger of that hand she had for many years glorified God by typing on a vintage typewriter beside her.] All day and far into the night, she would type. [She translated Christian books into Russian.] Always using just that one finger—peck … peck … peck—she typed out the pages. Portions of the Bible, the books of Billy Graham … and Corrie ten Boom …
"Not only does she translate books," her husband said as he hovered close by during our conversation, "but she prays for these [people] every day while she types. Sometimes it takes a long time for her finger to hit the key, or for her to get the paper in the machine, but all the time she's praying for those whose books she's working on."
[Corrie ten Boom writes]: I looked at her wasted form on the sofa, her head pulled down and her feet curled under her body. "Oh Lord, why don't you heal her?" I cried inwardly.
Her husband, sensing my anguish of soul, gave the answer. "God has a purpose in her sickness. Every other Christian in the city is watched by the secret police. But because she has been sick so long, no one ever looks in on her. They leave us alone and she is the only person in all the city who can type quietly ...

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Hershael York is pastor of Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky, as well as Professor of Christian Preaching and Associate Dean of Ministry and Proclamation in the School of Theology of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

Has it ever occurred to you that the very thing you most want removed from your life might be the very thing God uses in the greatest way for his glory?

I. Glorying in our weaknesses distinguishes us from the world.

II. Glorying in our weaknesses distances us from our strengths.

III. Glorying in our weakness displays Christ in us.

Conclusion

An adaptation of G. D. Watson's "Others May, You Cannot," speaks of the limitations of following Christ, but also the reward gained from that life.