When I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). When I am helpless, then I'm at the point of break-through. If there's one area you will feel most helpless in, it's probably leaving your mother tongue and entering into an environment where you're the least skilled in the language spoken.

Perhaps that's why kids feel helpless as well. They are always asking what things are and how to say certain phrases. They don't understand adults because the language is so complicated. Children know they are helpless because they don't understand so many things, but when you see a movie portraying a child who can speak elegantly like a skilled orator, suddenly they seem independent and capable.

When someone starts using words you don't understand, you automatically feel they know more than you. A bigger or wider vocabulary represents more knowledge and skill. We value great speakers because they seem like they have things figured out and can teach us.

The deaf population may have a greater or lesser intelligence quotient than you, but without the ability to speak, we don't give them credit for high intelligence or capability. Speaking a language and speaking it proficiently is a sign of maturity and honor.

That's why when I enter a community that speaks Chinese and try my best, it's always easy to be seen as a type of child, having to be taught and nurtured into understanding. I will always have new words to learn, and I have to pick and choose which conversations to enter so I don't slow others down.

After the night's finished, I will feel that sense of helplessness. It's humbling. It's the point we all must get to at times to find the break-through we're despairing for within our spirits. I'm no longer impressed by elegant speech, but I always look beyond the words at the spirit within speaking them. A few simple words from a real encounter with God will do more for my spirit than an award-winning performance from the most praised preacher.

We should let our words be few, not speaking because we have to or to make our speech more pleasing. Quick to listen and slow to speak. Speaking a second or third language forces us to apply this proverb, making us helpless and cultivating our spirits into a good tree. We won't win the praises of men, but our Father who is in secret knows our hearts because we run after Him for adoration and commendation in our secret place.

To be helpless is to be strong if we're not wrong trusting ourselves, but give our weaknesses to Jesus who lets us smile instead of frown because He turned the world upside down.

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