in addition to this blog serving as a record and perhaps a memoir for my daughters to know who i am, i’m adding a page of “random musings” by their daddy who always amazes me by who he is…
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“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. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I really like the idea of looking at this from the opposite direction, i.e., for when I am strong, I am weak (not my idea, I am reading a sermon from Spurgeon where he uses this tactic). If the idea that when I am weak, then I am strong is true – then it must be equally true that when I think I am strong, I am actually quite weak. I fall into this trap time and time again – thinking that I am so strong, thinking that I know so much, thinking how careful I am to steer clear of sin by setting up my *own* boundaries, thinking how I’ve been running this race for so long that’s it’s just second nature to me. When I write it, it sure seems foolish, but I guarantee you those thoughts will enter my mind again before I go to sleep tonight. Maybe today; however, as soon as it enters my mind, I will think of this verse and it will remind me of how very clearly weak I am as a result of even thinking such things. Maybe I will remember that I am only strong when I delight in my weaknesses. I am only strong when I recognize that God’s grace is sufficient for me. I am only strong when I stop hiding all my faults and vomit them up for the world to see – so that the world will then see Christ’s power rest on me.
All this talk of weakness obviously brings Lucia to the forefront of my mind (if there’s ever a moment when she’s not there). Maybe this disease that I hate, this disease that I absolutely despise – maybe it is actually a gift from God to Lucia so that she can live this verse out for all to see. Even in the simplest of motor skills, it is so evident that Christ’s power rests on her. How awesome would it be from the very outset of your life to reveal God’s strength every time you pushed yourself up off the ground – took a step – jumped on a trampoline – played tag – even celebrated a birthday?
Maybe, on top of it being a gift to Lucia, it’s a lesson to all of us that we can reveal God’s strength in the simplest of things as well. We just first must recognize our weakness in these simplest of things.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”
When I think about God’s grace, I know that I should be very appreciative of it, but I think deep down I still feel as if I deserve it a little bit. Why wouldn’t God, who loves me as His child, want to save me? If my girls do something wrong, regardless of how terrible, I would have no problem offering them grace. In fact, I have a hard time with discipline because I just want to grab them up and love on them until they start acting correctly (I recognize that is probably not practical and can come with negative side effects down the road). It is actually funny, but before Almudena and I had kids, I would always talk a big game about how I was going to be a huge disciplinarian. I was going to crack down on every offense, without hesitation, always consistent, yada yada yada. Times have changed, but I think it has caused me to lose some of the appreciation I once had for God’s grace. After all, I would die for my girls. I would allow myself to be beaten unmercifully. I would let someone put nails through my hands and hang me on a cross. I would do all this without hesitation, so of course God would too, right? Well, while God did, in fact, do this without hesitation, He convicted me this morning about the perspective that I was using to value His grace. God didn’t send His Son to the cross to save me while I was His child. God sent His Son to the cross to save me while I was the murderer of His child. God sent Christ to the cross while I was not only directly at odds with Him (as God knew – even then – all my past, present and future sins), but even worse while I was directly responsible for the mocking, the merciless beatings, the nails in His hands, the thorns on His head, the spear in His side, and ultimately the agonizing death of His precious Son on a cross. Now that is a grace that I will never understand, that I would never be willing to offer, that I could never feel deserving of.