Can I be honest? Can I be real? Sometimes people see other’s lives as perfect; the “they have it all” concept. This can be encouraging at times, but it can also be disheartening. We feel as though we’ll never have it all together like so-and-so. May I confess that there are days when I weep over the brokenness of the town I live in, and there are days when I weep over my brokenness. Ministry is hard. There are days when I am so exhausted that I do not have the energy to bathe my child, and there are nights when I cry as he cries. Being a mother is hard. There are days when my husband comes to me and says he has no clean socks, and there are days when if someone came to my door, I wouldn’t let them in because my house is in disarray. Being a wife is hard. The truth is: Life is hard.
Some people preach that when you become a Christian, life gets easy. That is a lie. Being a Christian, being a leader in God’s church, is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Some people say that the pastor and his family live in a fish bowl; everyone can see what goes on in their lives. This has some truth to it. The Christian life, in general, is this way. There will always be people watching us. They will see us soar, and they will see us fall. I so long to be the perfect pastor’s wife, the perfect mother, and the perfect wife. The truth, however, is that I will never be these things. The truth is: I am a mess. I am a work in progress. But, God chooses to use my mess to bless. What a humbling truth; that God would reach down into the craziness of my life and choose to use it for His glory.
Scripture is filled with people whose lives were a mess. Think of some Bible “hero.” What great ways they lived for God come to mind? Did they part red seas, slay giants, conquer nations, walk on water, cast out demons, or heal the sick? Now, you are also thinking about their flaws, right? Did they commit murder, lie, commit adultery, act out in anger, fail to cast out demons, or were they unable to heal? God’s Word tells us that He uses real people. Now, do not misunderstand me. We do not sin to show God’s grace in our lives. Paul writes through the Holy Spirit, “What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not!” (Romans 6:15) God does, however, show His ability through our inability. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 says, “Instead, God has chosen the world’s foolish things to shame the wise, and God has chosen the world’s weak things to shame the strong. God has chosen the world’s insignificant and despised things—the things viewed as nothing—so He might bring to nothing the things that are viewed as something, so that no one can boast in His presence.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” Finally, John 3:30 says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Our lives are about revealing the power of Christ; in our strength, but especially in our weakness. We are inadequate. We are flawed. But, He is perfect! Praise His name!
What an honor for an unholy creation to be used by a Holy Creator. We look at our lives and see our weakness as a hindrance. Moses tells the Lord that he isn’t a good speaker. God had to tell Joshua that Moses was dead, and it was his time to lead (Joshua 1:1-5). David’s father didn’t see any qualities of a king in him. He was the youngest and a shepherd (1 Samuel 16:11). Matthew 13:55-56 tells us that even Jesus’ hometown questioned His abilities and position as God’s son. “‘Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother called Mary, and His brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, aren’t they all with us? So where does He get all these things?'” The Lord desires to use us. Is it a likely choice? No. Could He choose someone better? Sure. But, He chooses us! In our weakness, in our mess, He reaches down to us. He saves us, and He calls us to live for Him! He does not see our weakness as crippling, but He sees our inability as a chance to show His glory to the world! Amen!
We have the opportunity to make His name famous to the nations! We have the opportunity to make His name famous in our community! We have the opportunity to make is name famous in our families! Is it hard? YES! It is hard! Is it worth it? YES! It is worth it! For all the times my heart is broken, for all the times I fall in to bed exhausted, for all the times I see God reign and do the miraculous; it is certainly worth it all! I would not trade this crazy life for anything. I would not rejoin the world for all that it offers will fade and rust and result in a greater heartache (Matthew 6:19-21). I am being refined. Sometimes by fire (Psalm 66:10), but the process is necessary. I can think of no greater way to close than with Scripture. This passage leaps off the page and into my heart. May God bless our mess. May He use our weakness. May He be glorified in our inability because He is able, and He is worthy!
1 Peter 1:3-9 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
Hallelujah! What a Savior!