All of us experience a time where we risk our well-put-together world for something we know God has called us to do. We get challenged far beyond trying to figure out what to make for dinner. And we tell ourselves, “Since it’s from God, it will play out simple, right?”
My past few months have contained so much change. I started a new job and my husband began a new project in Sacramento, California. This means we get to spend more time apart than together. It also leaves me in charge here at home. I thought, “No big deal, I can do this,” and felt peace about it. Several weeks ago something moved me so deeply that it caused my world to crumble.
Physically, I felt extremely tired ‘cause I couldn’t keep it together—job, kids, grocery shopping, laundry, projects, writing, marriage. I constantly worried about it, which led to fear. Spiritually, I felt angry ‘cause it didn’t play out how I wanted. Then it happened. I asked God an ugly question in the midst of my anger, “Lord, don’t you know what’s at stake here?”
With that question, I discovered something about myself. Change and fear had shaken the foundation I built for myself. All the idols that I secretly put up stood out in the open and they exposed my dependence on the approval of others. For once, I understood why I felt like I couldn’t keep it together.
The beauty of this comes in the answer to my question and it’s just like God to help me answer it. What’s truly at stake here? If I continue to focus on myself, how will others see the gospel working in my life through my weaknesses and failures? How can I do the work God has given me, when all I do depends on my successes and how it makes me look?
How I chose to answer the question meant I needed to accept my weaknesses, my failures and my sins and depend only on God. Even the apostle Paul after everything he did, still considered himself, “…the worst of all sinners.” This tells me that despite Paul’s weaknesses, sins and failures, God still managed to do His work through him. This also shows me that I desperately need God’s grace every moment of my life, especially because I can’t do it all. I know that I will continue to grow in my relationship with Christ, yet my total dependence on His finishing work and His grace will never end.
And guess what? Living in my well-put-together world doesn't even compare to the freedom of living in a grace-filled world through Jesus. Grace redefines my motives and how I want to live. I don’t have to fear, ‘cause I’m not perfect, but in Christ I’m flawless. Yes, all of this came from God and what a blessing to see it play gracefully in my life!
Heavenly Father, I pray that you will continue to work in our hearts so that we can understand and accept the freedom we have in Christ. We don’t have to be perfect. We just need to accept Jesus’ words, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, help us to boast most gladly about our weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in us. Help us to be content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever we are weak, we are strong through Jesus Christ our Lord (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Amen.