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Strength and Weakness - Pastor's Pen for 30th October 2022

The Kauri always looks like a mighty tree, majestic in the forest. However, it is vulnerable to Phytophthora agathidicida or 'Kauri dieback disease' a water mould that infects the tree through the roots and over time can starve the tree to death.

Those of us who love the forest have become used to various mitigations including shoe cleaning as we continue to enjoy those tracks which are still open access rather than having been closed to protect the trees.

Unfortunately, humans and other creatures are the vectors of spreading the disease. That which appears mighty and immovable is in fact vulnerable to a tiny fungi invisible to the unassisted eye.

As Christians we are aware of our strengths and weaknesses. Human beings often emphasise the positive, but we do well to acknowledge the negative as well. Personally, I find environments where people are relentlessly upbeat and projecting an image of strength a bit exhausting and fake. Some churches do this. It's good when we can be with trusted people who acknowledge both our strengths and weaknesses and love us anyway.

Apostle Paul writes; 'Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.' All of us have weaknesses that if we ignore them can sap our strength and weaken our faith. Remember a tiny mould can kill a massive Kauri. Let us determine to be realistic with ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to use both our strengths and our weaknesses for the purpose of spiritual life and growth, bringing healing and maturity. Weakness can be a better teacher than strength often, so let us recognise its gift to us.

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