Thursday, November 6, 2014

Weak Knees, a Heavy Heart, and a Thankful Spirit

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  
(2 Corinthians 12:9)

There are seasons for everything, and the past year or so has been a season where I just haven't had the time nor the joy in keeping up my blog.  Between the birth of Shane, to the blowback from a post I wrote back last December, and an increase in work responsibilities, I've found that I've often just not wanted to put in the effort to write.  Part of it has been a legitimate struggle to consider what to write, another part has been fear.  "What will people think?" or  "What if they don't like it?"  I'm prefacing this post like this because, I think in a lot of ways, ever since November 6th, 2013, I still haven't quite recovered from the shock of how my life changed all in one fell swoop.  

Now, I don't mean to say "recovered" as the fact that the birth of my son is a bad thing.  Aside from my salvation in Christ and my marriage to Heather, Shane is by far the greatest gift I have been given.  He has given me peace at times that I never thought a child could, insights into my Heavenly Father as I see the genuine delight in his face when I play with him, and insights into my own sinfulness as he is just beginning to demonstrate hints of disobedience.  

I love him.  But he has constantly revealed something in me, and God has reminded me of this once again: I am weak, and cannot move on my own.  

Last year, before Shane was born, I remember reading 2 Corinthians 12 and wondering what it meant to really be helpless.  If I didn't know before, I knew when I was in the delivery room, where I truly was helpless.  I couldn't help my wife, I couldn't help my coming son, all I could do was pray.  And I prayed.  And I prayed.  

And God answered.  

Shane was stronger than the doctors expected, progressed faster than they thought, and by Thanksgiving he came home.  It didn't change the fact that I really couldn't do anything.  God had to do the growing, the molding, the changing.  

Fast forward a year.  Two weekends ago I purchased a small devotional by Spurgeon, often known as the "Prince of Preachers."  I thought, "Maybe this can be a useful tool in my morning devotions."  Yesterday morning I opened it up to find 2 Corinthians 12:9 at the top.  Here's what he writes about the verse:

"A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God's work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness. "  

I've had an increase in my responsibilities at home, and at work.  I'm far more aware of my fears and failures than I've ever been.  And I'm even more aware of my limitations now than I did when I was a young, arrogant, insecure 22-year-old missionary.  (I guess I'm now an older, slightly less arrogant, slightly less insecure 28-year-old missionary.)  And maybe... that's just where God wants me to be.  In fact, if we're honestly looking at what the bible says, God commands that we come before Him weak and helpless.  "He opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6, I Peter 5:5)

We need weak knees, ones that fall on the floor in submission and desperation to the God who can move mountains.  

We need a heavy heart, both to see the pain and suffering in the world, as well as the inner turmoil in the souls of our fellow man.

We need a thankful spirit, thankful for what we have, what God has done, and for the hope that is to come.

The more days I live, I realize how much more desperate I am for Jesus.  For the past year, desperation has often been the thing that has driven me to pray.  And for that I'm thankful.  And I'm thankful that every November 6th, I can easily remember my need for Jesus as I look into the eyes of my son.  

In His Grace,