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Monday, October 24, 2016

Our Perfect Imperfection

 As we've discussed here before, it is extremely difficult for us to allow ourselves to be weak. Our society feeds off of that which breeds strength, physically and emotionally. We admire the ones who, to our view, have it altogether. Perhaps the reason why we gravitate toward the stories, the people, the experiences that show us this is because, deep down inside, we know this isn't real life. It's superhuman. It's against the way we broken people tick. Now, we are aware that God can give to people a special grace to embrace seemingly unbearable situations with courage. And yet, whoever talks about the long nights with tears soaking in the sheets? Whoever mentions the silent feeling of standing alone at a loved one's grave? Whoever highlights the single mother of three whose husband left her to raise the children by herself? These are the real human stories. We know we're all weak and imperfect. We just don't like to talk about it.
 Sadly, this pride inside all of us that wants to be the strong one keeps us from being able to connect with each other on a deeper level. We become so good at hiding our real hurts from one another that we overlook a powerful truth: God doesn't demand strength from us...He asks for weakness. God never expects us to always hold it altogether; He wants us to let go. God will not use people who try to be strong on their own, but He will use people who are willing to be weak. God does not require us to be perfect; He just wants hearts who desire to be perfected - imperfect people like you and me. The Apostle Paul talks about this is 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10:

"...He [the Lord] said to me, My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore will I
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 weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, 
in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

When we begin to truly depend on Christ and not on our own abilities, we discover an inner strength that carries us, not only through the tragedies of life but, more so, in the daily battles we wage within ourselves. Upon our confession and surrender of our life behind the door, God gives us permission to let Him take over. The beauty of the Christian life is that God has already done everything! He has satisfied the wrath of His Father against the sin of mankind and has overcome for us! As a result, He doesn't teach us how to be strong; He invites us to become weak. He doesn't expect us to be winners; He wants to invite the losers. He doesn't call the "somebody's"; He calls the "nobody's". He doesn't bring in the extraordinary and make them better; He brings in the ordinary and makes them alive. He never asks us for a life of success; He offers life to those who fail. To Him, we are each perfectly imperfect, and that's how He wants it. The ones who really go on to be used by God are the ones who accept their weakness and yet, come to God daily to be perfected.