7-10Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. 2 Corinthians 12 The MSG
I may very well have prayed more than three times! Pretty sure. Here I am trying to learn this humility-submit-yield thing and God gives the word to “boast”. Not in myself, mind you, but in Christ alone – the only Place/Person that there would be reason to do so! He is able while I am not, but He lives within me. So, in the words of David Crowder, “what does that make me?”
I am such a mess! I am so glad Jesus was a boy who probably played in the mud after the rain and in the dirt when it was dry, much to His Momma’s dismay! (Granted, He could probably clean a white tunic better than anyone – He sure cleans me pretty good!) He would need such practice enjoying the mess when He would enter my life. He has never once shirked away from my grimy self; instead He does what I do when my boys have a had a full day of play – He runs the bath!
Yesterday I opened my self up, displayed some of the dirt behind my spiritual ears, and I didn’t like it! I didn’t even like the way I felt afterward, but I don’t think it’s because I shouldn’t have shared. I think it has a lot to do with feeling the pride being peeled off. Humility has always sounded wonderful to me – a celestial place to be, and make no mistake, it is heavenly! The road to humility, though, requires so very little of me. Here I am at the beginning, and I realize how much of me there is!
30 He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3 ASV
If I’m going to have arms and hands free to be raised to Christ, I have to let go of a whole lot…of me! Pride was Satan’s downfall, and he has dressed it up well in order to get others to put it on, that they may join him on his belly.
But I remember, Jesus isn’t afraid of the mud!
#2334-2344 Giving Thanks in the Mud:
recognizing once again how I need Him
sharing my dirt with my Church Family
the vulnerability of being exposed
the weakness that leaves me paralyzed
the fear of rejection
my pessimism after a gift
my weaknesses – sometimes there is more than just one thorn
not hearing the alarm this morning
gray rain clouds giving way to pink morning clouds
hot water running down and through needy hands