A post from a few years ago, which pairs well with yesterday’s post. Some things take years to learn. Thanks be to God for His bountiful mercy and endless patience!
“So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses…”
My goal has always been to accomplish great things for the Lord– a good goal, but one that often morphed into a prideful one. I wanted to validate my time here on Earth and stand before the Lord and say “Look at everything I did for You!” We all have our talents; I wanted to be the servant who multiplied them and spilled a large sum at the feet of my Master upon His return.
The problem? I wanted to do it myself. I wanted to prove to God that I was worth creating, that I would “fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run” (Rudyard Kipling) and show up at the finish line covered in medals. St. Paul orders us to “run so as to win,” so I sprinted. I had to win the race without help, or else, what praise did I deserve? Is anything really accomplished if someone holds your hand every step of the way?
But then God sent me a “thorn”, and I couldn’t even crawl toward that line. I thought for sure I had failed. As other runners went surging by, I felt panic growing in my chest. How am I going to make it? What is God going to say to this servant who doesn’t multiply the talents in His absence? Why send me this thorn when I need to run? Oh, the ways pride can take root! Did I actually believe I could win Heaven on my own?
This year I have experienced the “weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.” I have been made so, so weak and humbled in my pride. But in weakness, miracles happened. Unimaginable things occurred to show me everything was going to be okay. God helped me understand what it looks like when He says “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” He doesn’t want me to list the things I’m accomplishing for Him, no… He wants me to boast about the mountains He is moving for me, to declare His greatness, even if by doing so I reveal my weakness.
So now, I let Him carry me, recognizing my need for Him. We leave one set of footprints in the sand, and I continue to wrestle with myself, praying that one day I can confidently repeat St. Paul’s declaration above and remember that “whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”