But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
Paul was pushed beyond every possible limit. He was broken, worn, and tired. He says that he is weak but God made him strong. If you don't believe me that this was more than he could handle then read a little earlier in that same letter Paul says this
For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor 1:8,9,)
Does that sound like someone who had it all under control on his own? No. He is saying "what we went through was so hard and burdensome that we literally thought we were going to die. But we went through all of that so that we would rely on God"
You see God allows us to go through lots of things. Things that are far to big for us to handle. But He does this because we must learn that anything that comes our way can be over come through God. We serve a God who can move mountains so taking care of our problems no matter how big they may seem is a task that He has no problem handling.
I think that this very thing is why I like racing so much. It challenges me, it makes me find strength bigger than myself. It's the perfect time to talk to God and it helps me realize that without Him I am weak, but with Him I am strong.
So next time you have reached a task that you feel is more than you can achieve, wether that running a race, a task in your job, or struggles in your family remember that God won't keep you from the hardships but He will pick you up and walk with you through them!