We normally perceive the Apostle Paul as bold, courageous and somewhat independent. He was not one to let anything stand in his way, let alone some fellow Jews and an earthly king who were trying to take his life. I've often wondered about the placement and point of 2 Corinthians 11:33 which states, "In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands." What's the significance, particularly in relationship to the rest of the chapter? At first glance this doesn't seem to match up with Paul's boast of weakness. But let's have another look.
The truth is that Paul understood and acknowledged his weaknesses. In fact, this is a striking picture of a man who had come to the end of his rope and needed a new one, a rope with a basket on one end and strong hands on the other. He was "let down through a window in a basket."!
A basket, a rope and someone else's hands to grasp and lower Paul down to safety. I imagine Paul curled up in a fetal position inside this basket. By no means is this a visual picture of strength and courage! Visualize this man of faith in a basket and you begin to understand the interplay between courageous faith and times of weakness. One could say that living out of a sense of weakness takes more courage compared to living out of a feelings of strength.
Prayer: Lord, today I feel weak and vulnerable. I need a basket, a rope and some strong hands to carry me through my trial. Thanks for helping me and bringing me safely to the other side.