As I’ve aged and engaged more fully my curiosity of God, self, and others, I’ve become increasingly convinced that to be fully human is very good. After all, God declares it in the creation story when he made man and said it was “very good.” I must set this beside the passages about the deceitfulness of the heart and God’s grief over man’s behavior later on in the Genesis text. It doesn’t mean that I have to understand it fully, but I can acknowledge it as something to consider.
Here’s another passage that is pretty interesting if you’re the curious sort:
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 weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 CEB
Consider Job. He continues to lament and beseech and complain and restate his beliefs chapter upon chapter. By all accounts, Job is a guy rejected by God. His wife and friends certainly believe this is Job’s condition. But Job is not swayed by his friend group or even his wife. He also makes clear that to contend with God is to suffer by comparison. As righteous as Job knows himself to be, he admits in chapter nine that if God wants to push the issue, he could not present a case for his own goodness in comparison to the overwhelming wisdom, power, and justice of God. Job knows that compared to God, he is weak. But what we discover if we keep reading is that God is not asking Job to be strong, he’s asking Job to be himself – righteous and blameless. (If Job, why not….us?)
I wonder if you or someone you love is feeling pretty downtrodden today. Maybe it’s one of those days when it is hard to hold onto a balanced sense of self – living in conscious contact with the entire scope of our moral inventory, not just the “bad stuff.”
On days like that, I find it helpful to return to Paul’s perspective in 2 Corinthians. I have this journal bible that I use exclusively for daily reading. Sometimes I make notes in the margins. Years ago I wrote in response to this very passage of scripture, “make yourself content with trusting God.” Today I added a note. “It is in my acceptance of weakness that I will be free to receive from God what I need to be strong in the ways he may ask me to show up today.”
In one response, I was trying real hard to “trust God” – who can argue with the rightness of trusting God? But today, I give myself more grace. Today I do not feel that the world rests on my shoulders. Today I have a better, clearer picture that I sit in the very hand of God. May you be blessed today with an awareness of this God who loves us!