I’m always amused when I watch the loons lift into flight off Piatt Lake in Michigan’s upper peninsula. They half-run, half-flap across the water for hundreds of feet before getting enough speed to lift into the air. I wondered why until I learned that unlike most birds, loons have solid bones. Their added weight makes it difficult for them to get airborne.

I also learned that loons are clumsy on land because their legs are set farther back on their bodies than other birds. Walking is so difficult that many loons simply scoot across land to their nesting places. But these disadvantages—heavy bones, legs set far back—are also tremendous advantages. Because of their weight and leg placement, loons can dive deeper, farther, and faster. This is essential for catching fish and escaping predators.

What we see as disadvantages in our lives can be turned into advantages, and apparent weaknesses can be transformed into strengths. That was true of the apostle Paul, whose “thorn in the flesh” became an opportunity for God’s strength to be seen in his weakness (2 Cor. 12:7-9).

Is a weakness holding you down? Is it shyness or a physical limitation? Ask God to turn it into a strength for His glory.