"[The Lord] said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.' So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
The kids are destroying our house.
Yesterday, the toddler dumped my mug of coffee all over my desk, drenching my books and papers. Dinosaurs, hockey sticks, and Legos litter the floor. Dirty dishes and fruit snack wrappers are everywhere.
My hair is a constant mess (in case you were wondering why this isn't a video). I have yet to do an at-home workout, despite the pile of equipment sitting in the corner. On top of all that, I have no clue what day of the week it is; today I forgot to put the garbage bin at the end of the driveway to be emptied, much to the irritation of my spouse.
But let's be honest, none of us really have a clue what we are doing.
Figuring out how to follow Jesus is tough and confusing enough without the added complications of quarantine. Earlier this week, someone texted me about an upcoming procedure and asked me to pray for her-- but there is a strict "no visitor" policy. As she prepared to go to the hospital, we prayed together, huddled over our phones, miles and miles apart.
I know that God was working. I know that God heard us. And yet, it felt weak. It felt insufficient, as though nothing could compare with the physical touch of another person's hand in mine or our voices joining in "amen."
Sitting home, although the safest and most loving course of action, makes me feel weak and insufficient. I feel powerless in the face of something beyond my control.
What would Jesus do? Where is God working in all of this?
Lent draws us back to Jesus' journey to the cross, in which we witness His weakest moments. Did Jesus feel weak and powerless as his hands were bound, as his body was dragged along to it's death? Did he feel insufficient as he stood before the authorities, knowing people would never understand him?
We remember these moments of pain and brokenness every year. We identify with Jesus' human experiences; we understand God in a new way. But more importantly, we remember because these weak moments lead to Christ's victory over sin, suffering, and death. At the cross, we see that God's economy is upside-down and unexpected: power is made perfect in weakness. God dwells with the weakest in society, those who others have overlooked, and demands that we see them. God shows up in our weakness and redeems it.
God shows us grace. God loves us even though we are powerless to earn it and don't deserve it. We don't have to have all the answers. We don't need to have perfectly clean houses all the time, or know the exact right words to say to a friend in need. We don't have to solve all the world's problems with the extra free-time on our hands. We just keep following, one foot in front of the other, in our stumbling attempts to love God and our neighbors in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic. None of us know what we are doing! Now is the perfect time for the world to witness God's amazing grace.
God shows us grace, and that grace is more than enough to get us through our weakest moments. In God's grace, we find our strength.
May the powerlessness we are experiencing draw us nearer to God. May we have grace for our kids, our spouses, the cashiers at the grocery store, and the receptionist at the clinic. And may we have grace for ourselves, as we try to navigate this new reality. God does!
- What is something you are struggling with right now? Where do you see God working?
- What is something you are grateful for today?
- Who is someone you can show God's grace to today?
God of grace, hear our gratitude and our struggles... Help us to know that you are with us even in our weakest moments, and help us to experience your amazing grace. Guide us to find ways to follow you today, even when the road is uncertain. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.