This morning I was taking some time to read and pray and this passage from 2 Corinthians 12 came to mind.
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.
I have been seeing my weaknesses keenly. They don't make me feel strong. I regularly struggle with the fear that someone will be unhappy with me or that I won't do a good job. Now that I am back to teaching full time, I don't have nearly as much time for the many other aspects of ministry.
I know that some of my friends in the village wish I would come visit more.
I wish that I had more time to spend with the GSF girls who are in my cord group. I know that every child who lives at an orphanage has experienced trauma, and I wish I could spend more individual time caring for them.
I know that I have some students who need extra time and attention to help them understand math well, and when they don't get a concept, I often feel like a failure.
I volunteered to organize meals and buy food for visiting teams, and I forgot about this until the last minute with a team that was here last week. It made for a crazy day trying to scramble and get the needed supplies.
I dumped our trash in a private dumpster in Jinja and got scolded by a security guard and a police officer and paid a "fee" that felt like a bribe. Missionary fail.
Yesterday, I realized that I still haven't gotten together all the receipts from our team that visited back in July and don't know when I am going to be able to organize all of that.
I didn't plan ahead well enough with our finances, so I ran out of money to pay the students who have been making necklaces to earn school fees. Thankfully, the schools allow students to begin the school year before fees are paid, so they can still start back to school.
An elderly neighbor is sick and I have been too weak to go visit him.
I just ate a cookie for breakfast.
I haven't written a blog post, a letter, an email or thank you notes for our support team recently.
The list goes on. I can't keep up with all of these things, and I surely can't make everyone happy with me all the time. So here I am lacking energy, feeling physically weak and emotionally weak, trying to believe that "when I am weak, then I am strong." It certainly doesn't feel that way! But I go back to verse 9 and read that God says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." So I guess it really isn't so much about me feeling strong, but seeing that God's grace is sufficient and His power is revealed even when I don't have the strength to do any of these things. So I guess I need to stop the self-flagellation and start fixing my eyes on Jesus. Why is it that I either want to beat myself up over my weakness or I want a pity party to excuse it? Either way, I am just fixing my eyes on myself. Pray for me that instead I will lift my eyes, and fix my gaze on the One who looks at me and says...
....It is finished. (Jn.19)
....I have loved you with an everlasting love. (Jer.31)
...nothing will separate you from my love. (Rom.8)
...come to me and I will give you rest. (Matt.11)
...even when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you don't have to fear because I am with you. (Ps.23)
...I rejoice over you. (Zeph.3)
...I am your advocate. (1Jn2)
...I have given you my righteousness (2Cor.5, Phil.3)
...my grace is sufficient. (2Cor.12)
Today, I pray that I will stop looking at myself with my weaknesses and failures, and fix my eyes on Him believing what He says!