We have a picture in our minds of the best version of ourselves that we can imagine. We walk around with it and believe it is true until something happens and we have to come face-to-face with the fact that reality is in stark contrast to the image we hold in our minds. We strive for obtaining this – best version of ourselves – as our normal, yet daily fall short. This can ignite a feeling of hopelessness within, for it makes us feel that we don’t measure up – even to ourselves.
When Jesus’ light shines revealing who we are at this point in time: both weaknesses and strengths, callings we’ve answered and those we haven’t, gifts we are using and talents we are wasting, abilities we have and those we actually don’t, then there is hope. When we come to this place, feel it, look at it, and admit with unveiled face before the Lord all the hidden places, areas of disobedience, real or perceived shame/pride, and inner weaknesses that we can’t fix but have wrestled with or covered over with varied excuses for years. His light cuts between joint and marrow, soul and spirit, thoughts and intents of our hearts. Though this revelation of self is uncomfortable, it is crucial!
Be at ease, beloved, for when we open ourselves to let Him uncover all our hidden ways and ceaseless strivings, then His power is made perfect in our weakness. When we get past the initial shock, repent, and offer our lives to Him anew then the other side of this shining light is God embracing us and being our strength, the breath in our lungs with renewed dreams in our hearts and a quieted and humbled mind knowing who we are at such a time as this in Him. If there is an area still lacking, He will move upon us and shore it up – for He is the author and perfecter of our faith.
When we have an accurate view of ourselves, then there is hope, for at last it will be no longer us who live, but Christ in us. He can do exceedingly more with us and in us than we can imagine. On our own, we make a mess of things. In Him, nothing is impossible. Let the strivings cease and rest, at last, in Him. Take time to commune with Him in prayer, with thanksgivings/praise/worship, and walk with Him in the daily moments of life. When we surrender even the idea of what it means to be the best version of ourselves, then we can fully understand what it means for Jesus Christ’s power to made perfect in our weaknesses and be conformed to His image.
II Corinthians 12:9-10
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.
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.