I ran my fingers along the old railing, reverently tracing the history etched deep into the wood grain.
I’d been to the Mother Cabrini Shrine many times, scaling the steep mountainside to stand, panting, in the shadow of the awe-inspiring Sacred Heart statue atop the summit. I’d let the crystal cool water slip down my throat in the blazing heat as I rested by the miraculous spring that still flows. Yet never before had I stood inside the walls of this charming summer home that Saint Frances Cabrini herself had commissioned for her orphanage girls—until today.
I’d been invited to speak at a retreat but awoke that morning bowed by chronic pain and wondering how I’d manage. I desperately begged God to propel me with His strength because I knew couldn’t make it on my own. Now I gripped the handrail and gingerly eased my way up the central staircase, imagining the countless times Mother Cabrini had done the same as her girls darted through the home in laughter and glee.
She’d suffered poor health most of her life, was petrified of water, even fearing drowning—yet God called her into the deep, leading across the ocean more than thirty times to establish sixty-seven different homes for the poor, sick, and abandoned. Her motto, fittingly, was “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
God intentionally brought me to Mother Cabrini’s turf to remind me how His power is far more glorified in our weakness than strength. The enemy will plant countless fears and discouragements to keep us from our call, but the Lord supplies the exact strength we need if we but ask. No more, lest we rely too much on our own power, and no less, lest we give up. Just as the lepers begged for Christ to heal them in their own lack, God invites us to ask for His help—then return the glory to Him.
Whatever our leprosy of body, mind, or soul, He's just waiting to supply the strength. Without God, we are desolate—but with Him, even our inabilities are redeemed to the greatest of glories.