When You’re Afraid to Be Fragile

photo: Raye Wortel


It’s a word I’ve been paying a lot of attention to lately.

See, the truth is, I’m going through a season where I feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually fragile.

It’s a hard thing to confess.

To admit your strength is wavering, and nothing feels firm, and it all makes you a little afraid.

Because fragility definitely makes you afraid. Afraid of being, well…less.

Less capable, less valuable, and less impactful in your life, and in the lives of those around you.

You also feel a lot more. More uncertain, more vulnerable, and more broken.

But here’s the thing I’m learning…

It’s okay to be fragile.

It’s okay to grieve, and question, and feel shattered.

It’s okay that our bones ache, our mind wanders, and exhaustion comes on too quickly.

It’s okay that our heart breaks, our smile fades, and life is beyond messy.


Because God isn’t afraid of our fragility.

He designed us to be held in tension between our fragility and His strength.

In 2 Corinthians 4:7-9, Paul writes of this tension. He starts off describing himself and the apostles as “fragile clay jars” and then tells how they were met by “troubles on every side.”

They were pressed, but not crushed.

Perplexed, but not driven to despair.

Hunted down, but never abandoned.

Knocked down, but not destroyed.

Those “but” statements become a lifeline for us just like they were for Paul and the apostles. And when we come face-to-face with our deepest fragility, we must not ignore them.

To say, “I am                     , but not…”  becomes a sacred gateway through which God’s power can do amazing things.

You and I may stand on the very brink. We may walk through a threshold of aching despair, or lie in utter darkness, but our able God meets us there – completely unafraid.

We have, as fragile clay jars, liberty to access the Savior in our inmost need. In His great power (a power wholly separate from us) He supports and delivers us.

In Him, we can always place our trust and hope – unafraid of how fragile life may be.

Your turn

  1. What are your thoughts on being fragile?
  2. How has God help you in your fragility?

4 Replies

  1. Loved this, Raye…there are certain words/phrases scattered throughout this piece that God has been bringing into focus for me to examine more closely…love how God does that…uses other people and their gifts/talents to speak to the heart of another…❤️

    1. Raye Wortel

      You are so welcome! I am glad to be here for you.

  2. Jackie

    I have been so “fragile ” broken, beat down , rung out and “refined” over the past few years that’s all I count on every day. Nothing more, nothing less. The only thing I’ve counted on, hung on to was this is God’s will. He has given me so many blessings, so much more is expected of me. I believe He gives me the strength to do his work, through me, in His time. I live each day knowing that my brokenness serves God’s purpose. I only have to put everything in His hands everyday. And pray for our Lord’s support each day.

    1. Raye Wortel

      Oh dear sister, you are faithful in your suffering. I’m reminded of Job 23:10 that says: “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” You will surely come forth as gold in due time. I am praying for you.

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