2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NIV)
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 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. 10 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.
There have been many times, in moments of self-reflection, when I have realized how inadequate and unprepared I have so often felt concerning the call to love those in front of me.
I think of my early experiences, namely working with adjudicated youth in an outdoor therapeutic wilderness program, in Alabama only armed with some head knowledge, minimal life experience and a recent broken engagement BUT also with a foundation of the saving knowledge of Jesus and His call and value for me. As I was fighting on the outside to do my job to lead, care for and guide the young girls in my care, my heart was challenged to be led by love by the Lord's Spirit and not merely through the academic, programmatic and secular lenses that I had been taught. I think of how much I did not know, how much I did not understand of the trauma I was facing, or how much of the lies of the enemy were keeping me bound from fully entering into the spiritual warfare obstructing the path to hope and healing...YET the Lord had me there then not today He knew me beforehand, the struggle I was in, and the hurt and pain of each girl...I was in the right place at the right time and though I did not have the 20 plus years’ experience and understanding of trauma, healing and the spiritual dynamics; I had a youthful zeal and a heart of compassion that moved me to action, to say yes to where Jesus called me.
In my reflection I recognize how I was asked to love to the best of my ability through my own layers of emotional struggle, self-protection and ignorance. I learned to love by desiring something better, desiring healing, and desiring hope. I have since learned and share with others the simple truth that the work of care giving, mothering and fathering, walking alongside...that each woman is an appointment and the right place at the right time for her and for me. I do not know that my knowledge, skill, or understanding make a differnece but I know that God’s love at work through me was and is making an eterenal difference. I have continued to face the inadequacy I feel with each challenge but my trust and faith is not in my skill, ability or understanding but truly in Christ alone.
1 Peter 4:10-12 (TPT)
10 Every believer has received grace gifts, so use them to serve one another as faithful stewards of the many-colored tapestry of God’s grace.
11 For example, if you have a speaking gift, speak as though God were speaking his words through you. If you have the gift of serving, do it passionately with the strength God gives you, so that in everything God alone will be glorified through Jesus Christ. For to him belong the power and the glory forever throughout all ages! Amen.