Some days I think I am mess. I recall all of shortcomings and failures. Some days I feel like I’ve got my act together and all is going pretty well. What’s the difference? Aren’t I basically the same person day-to-day? I bet I’m not alone in my waffling self-perception.
What I have found is that I am both at the same time, all the time. Saint and sinner. Righteous and messed up. What’s more is that sometimes I think I’ve done good when in reality I have messed things up, and sometimes, what I first believed to be my failures turned out to be great things.
Eventually, I get to the point where I just want to throw my hands up, give up, and be done with it.
It’s usually right about then that God shows up, or at least I realize that God has been there the whole time. Like a parent cleaning up after a toddler, God shows up. – Restoring things, fixing things, and doing things that only God can do. Then I wonder why I relied so heavily on myself and didn’t ask God for help sooner.
I’ve come to learn what Paul meant when he wrote about his own limitations to the Corinthians:
25 This is because the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. – 1 Corinthians 1: 25
It’s not me, it’s God. It’s not about my personal success or failure, but what God can and does through me.
And even at my worst, God is still good. And even at my best, God is still better.
One life, one person, changed for the better or know that God loves them, because somehow, through even my most boring sermon or incoherent blog – That’s God at work. That’s how God rolls. And like Paul, I can’t take any credit for that, only God can do that.
Questions: Where do you feel like you’ve failed? How can God use those experiences and you to help others?
Prayer: Lord, I’ve messed up, and I’m going to botch things again. Help. Use my worst moments to teach me. Remind me that you still love me. Use my failures to help me help others. Amen.