Tag Archives: perfection

Perfect in Weakness

If we live long enough we will experience something that completely wrecks our plans. We experience something that causes us to turn to God and ask, “Why?” Why did this happen? Why do we have to experience loss? Why can my will not align with Your will? In these moments we feel like we have nothing to give.  We feel like there is no wind in our sails.

We live in a world and society that is low on hope.  Everywhere we turn, we see things that communicate to us that we don’t measure up.  We don’t look like the people on television, we don’t feel like the happy ending of our favorite movie, and our lives don’t seem to be nearly as fun and adventurous as the people that we follow on Instagram.

We live in a world that scoffs at vulnerability and tells us that we must always project strength.  But if we live long enough, we learn that there are days where we cannot even fake it.  There are days where everything with us feels so wrong that we can’t possibly give people the impression that things are good.  What do we do then?

“Give your burdens to the Lord and He will take care of you.”         -Psalm 55:22

Sound simple? It’s not.

Time and time again, we ask God to take away our pain, sadness, and temptation, yet we still feel it.  We try to give our burdens to God, but everyday we feel more and more burdened.  It takes far longer to pass off our anxieties to God than it does to take on more anxiety.

But there is hope.  Whatever we are going through, we are not alone. Even when we feel distant from God, He is still there working for us.  Even when everything in our life feels out of control or messed up, God is there.  God is our provider.  We will ultimately be taken care of by the Almighty God.  And there are some pains, doubts, and fears that may never leave us, but God will still work in us. Paul speaks of something like this in his life:

He says this, “In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Cor 12)”

God’s power is made perfect in our shortcomings, failures, and pain.  Often we may feel like we can only give a little, but God can do so much with our little. With little food, Jesus fed 5000 hungry people.  With little faith, God can move mountains.  We are fully known and fully loved by a good Father, who created us, and will do so much with what little we can offer.

Even in our deepest and realest pain, God is beckoning us deeper into a relationship with Him.  He wants to show His almighty power in us.

Let us share our weaknesses.  Let us be vulnerable and open with each other, so that God, in His unending grace, can take our brokenness and messiness and write a beautiful  story of love and redemption with our lives.

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in the midst of… brokenness

I will be the very first to admit that I am way less than perfect, and anyone who knows me well is aware of that fact.  This is something that I often have struggled with inside of my calling to ministry, specifically youth ministry.  

How can I possibly show teens how to live a life fully devoted to Christ when I struggle to do so myself?

This is a question that has haunted me in the past. Well for a while, at least. Then I watched a little. Then I listened a little. I got to be around people in ministry.  I watched them deal with their imperfections. This was eye-opening for me. For the longest time, I struggled with telling people what field I was studying in, and what type of life I was preparing for. Was this because I was ashamed of my faith? Was I ashamed of Jesus? No. I was ashamed of myself. Being completely aware of my own brokenness and sin, I could not dare to let people know what I felt called to do or who I felt called to be.  Then I found a piece of Scripture from 2 Corinthians that comforted me.

To keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  -II Corinthians 12:7-10

Even Paul, the great missionary of the Gospel, was in need of grace. God has used some really screwed up people to bring about his glory throughout history.  King David, “a man after God’s own heart,” was an adulterer who then covered up his adultery by conspiring to have a man killed.  Rahab was a prostitute, but God used her to help his people.  Paul himself was a killer of Christians, and his letters to churches are now known by many as the “inspired word of God.”

One thing that these people have in common (other than the fact that God used them for great things) was that they did not dwell on their own brokenness, but instead chose to live into a better story. We live in a world filled with stories. Some of these stories are of God, but many are not.  Whatever we do, whether good or bad, will be part of our story, but what do the bigger pictures of our lives look like? Overall, are we choosing to serve God with a few hiccups along the way? Or are we rolling around in the muck of our lives? These are the questions we have to answer for ourselves. Personally, every second of every day, I have a choice to make.  I can spend my time focusing on my brokenness, or I can choose to live unashamed.  Unashamed of myself and fully turning my brokenness over to God, only then is there full life.

While writing this, I thought of a song I grew up singing at Church Camp. Here are some of the lyrics:

I’m trading my sorrows,

I’m trading my shame,

I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord.

Brokenness is something that exists in everyone’s life, but it is not something that we have to hold on to.

in the midst of brokenness, let us hand it over to Jesus. Again, and again, and again…