Daily Devotion - Monday, January 11, 2015

For the next several weeks our daily devotions will be focused on the fresh start that a new year brings, and how we have the opportunity to write a new story in a new year.  We're going to be thinking about how the decisions we make today, determine the story we tell tomorrow.  This week we're going to be thinking  about what we need to do to start something this year that will help determine a better story. 

"Never think that you are worthless.  God has paid an enormous amount for you, and the gifts keep arriving." - Rumi, (13th Century)

I woke up this past Sunday morning feeling sick.  The wicked cold that my wife had been carrying around with her all week last week finally landed on me, after I thought I had avoided it.  I made it through three sermons with a voice that sounded like I was going through puberty.  "I feel fine," I told people, "but my voice is messed up."  

Only I didn't really feel fine, I just thought I did.  Maybe it was adrenaline, or sheer force of will that made me feel stronger than I was.  Or maybe it was because I just love Sunday mornings, preaching and mingling with my church members.  When I got home yesterday, I was feeling worse, and worse still by bedtime.  

I cancelled all of my appointments today, and am sitting here sipping hot tea and trying unsuccessfully to breathe through my nose.  My voice is all but gone, and I'm feeling sorry for myself.  

You see, there's a pile of work on my home office desk, and a pile of work on my desk at the church office.  Those meetings that I cancelled need to be rescheduled, and the staff meeting I won't be attending today was one I really wanted to lead.  As I write this, the words of Jesus are echoing in my head, "The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."  

The moments when we come face to face with our frailty and brokenness are difficult to take.  When we realize that we aren't the "be all and end all," and we do indeed have severe limitations and an expiration date to boot it can be pretty sobering.  

It's in those moments that we often wonder if God could ever find us useful at all.  It calls to mind the questions posed to God by the psalmist in Psalm 8, "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, are mere mortals that you are mindful of him, human beings that you should care for them?"  (Psalm 8:3-4)

One of the many things I believe we should start in this new year is a better way of thinking about our limitations and finitude.  Our frailty isn't something to be mourned, it's a means of grace.  When we finally start admitting that God is God and we are not, then we are well on our way to transcending our limitations, and embracing the words of Jesus to the Apostle Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  (2 Cor 12:9)

May you start a new conversation with yourself about your weaknesses, frailty, limitations and brokenness.  May you turn to Christ to become your strength in the midst of your weakness, and fully realize his saving grace.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.   


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