Day Thirty: Strength in Weakness

December 30, 2019
By Allison Gonzalez

By Allison Gonzalez

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?[c]

You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]
    and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their[g] feet:
all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8 (NIV)

I remember the first time I took an extended trip with my oldest child. It was about twelve years ago, when he was only seven months old, and we were flying from Atlanta to San Francisco. As a relatively new and self-conscious mom, I wanted him to be the best baby that my fellow passengers had ever seen: quiet, angelic, smiling delightedly at anyone who glanced his way. I had brought along a backpack stuffed with snacks and toys and supplies to head off any impending meltdowns, but in hindsight, I did a poor job of managing my own expectations. The reality is that he was about as well-behaved as one can expect a seven-month-old to be when he’s required to sit still for five hours. Babies have a very limited means of communicating their needs, and my son was no exception. In other words…he cried…a lot.

When I read through Psalm 8, a song meant to praise the majesty of God in all creation, my mommy senses zeroed in on David’s decision to include verse two: Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. I know that Jesus talked about letting the little children come to Him (Matt. 19:14) and how we need to become like little children (Matt. 18:3), and I understand all of that because children are small people with, at the very least, rudimentary means of conveying their feelings and thoughts. Infants, though? What praise do they have to offer? And how can it serve as a stronghold against the enemies of God?

As I asked these questions, God directed my thoughts toward the unassuming and helpless form of infant Jesus. It’s just like God to take something that the world sees as weak, needy, and functionally useless – in this case, a baby – then use it to bring His enemies low. Now when David wrote this Psalm, the Messiah existed only as a promise of hope, blessing, victory, and deliverance to come. I doubt that anyone in David’s day would have predicted that the Messiah would arrive a thousand years later in the form of an infant. Yet his decision to include verse two makes me think David already recognized that God works differently than the world does, that strength doesn’t always come in obvious forms – in fact, David himself was a good example of that.

The Psalms are filled with praise for God’s strength, His provision, and the beauty of his creation, and Psalm 8 is no exception. But it’s in verse two that we see praise of how masterfully and strategically and uniquely God operates. Even the cryptic cries of a helpless baby can magnify the glory of His name and defeat the enemy. How? Why? Because God can use and has used anyone and anything for His purpose. No matter how helpless or useless we may feel, no matter how effectively we can communicate a message, no matter how poorly prepared we are to entertain a seven-month-old on a cross-country flight…God has use for all of us in His story. Humbly ask God to use you today, then wait for the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit as it pushes you to step alongside the Father in the work He is already doing.