Am I Weak Enough for God?
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 But God chose what is foolish in the world… God chose what is weak in the world… God chose what is low and despised in the world…
I stood out on my porch last night, watching the storm and pondering this passage. As the lightening flashed, the thunder pounded and the waves beat on the shore, I asked God to speak and explain. I should know better. I have done this before. Even though I knew what was coming when I saw the lightening hit the water, I still jumped as the crack of thunder hit me a split second after. It was impossible, in the raging storm, not to see how small I was.
It was easy, at that moment, to see my profound need for God. If only I always understood my complete dependence on him. I have said it before, but it is worth repeating: My greatest failure in life has not been my drug addiction but my pride and dependence on me. My success and self-reliance has been my undoing. In my confidence in self, I pursued me instead of God and met with predictable consequences.
It was only in the pain of following me, that I finally accepted my neediness. The truth is, I was always in need of being saved from myself. I just did not see it until life came crashing down. In my misery and need, I turned to God. It was only in my neediness that He chose to work in me.
Paul, in today’s passage, pointed out this truth. God draws near not to the strong and capable, but to the lowly and weak. Those who are self-sufficient and powerful in the eyes of the world often do not need God and thus will never find him. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 9:24).
Those who cannot see their neediness simply do not need God. They will often find those of us who do need God to be weak. To this, I say, yes. Absolutely. I am a mess and I need God. I do not know where I would be without him and I do not care to find out. I am weak, low and foolish. Left to my own pursuits, I would be lost. God has provided for me the only adequate answer to my deepest needs in life and I do not want to know life without him. I need him.
The challenge now is, that in following God instead of self, life has come back together. God does not promise smooth sailing if I follow him, but when I stop causing my own destruction, life improves radically. In the return to normalcy then, when the storm clears and the thunder quiets, it is easy to turn back again, to self.
The reality is, I need God just as much today as I ever did, but with job and family restored, it is easy to slip once again back into the lie of self-sufficiency. When I was in treatment, I read my bible and prayed for hours a day. As life gets busier, it is tempting to cut into the time I previously spent in pursuit of God. Thanks for your help back in the disaster, God. I’m good now…
As that is the kind of thinking that got me into treatment, I will daily choose to remember my weakness and dependence on God. I always need him.