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Saturday, 17 June 2017

Day 17: God Chose What is Weak

Art by www.wallandheart.com

God chose what is weak. 
1 Corinthians 1:27 

(From August 2016)

Later this evening I'm flying off to India for a month!

I'll be working with a team of 20 other teachers, delivering training and mentoring to Indian teachers working in under resourced areas. It'll be like a month of CPD... *gulp*.

Obviously it's just a month- others have gone further, in harder situations and for longer, but as I've been getting ready to go I've had these famous words in my head:

We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,And needing more each day thy grace to know,Yet from our hearts, a song of triumph pealing:"We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go!"

And "God chose what is weak" is the next five word Bible boost on my list, and it's great news for me.

Firstly, I'm weak. I'm exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally after a long term and 6 weeks of weddings or hen-dos for dearly loved friends on weekends; I'm on meds for depression, iron deficiency, hay fever, and all manner of other drugs; and most weakly of all-  I'm a sinner, prone to cowardice, pride, selfishness, bitterness, lovelessness, fearfulness... 

So it's a great comfort to me, that God chose what is weak. Boy do I qualify!

But secondly, God chose what is weak. This is a deep, deep comfort. In spite of my weakness as a human, as a sinner, in spite of my tendency to be fearful, intensely emotional, unrelentingly tired, God chose me. In the same way that God chose the foolishness of a cross to put to shame the wisdom of the wise, He chooses weak, cracked jars of clay and stashes his treasure in there!

It is such a humbling and challenging thing to believe that God chose me to do good in the world: through education, through relationships, through, I pray, witness to Christ. He chose genuinely weak people to achieve his purpose so that no one may boast before Him, so that all the glory might go to Him. 

I'm praying that God will be at work in and through me during this month, to make Him known, both in what I do and in what I say.

In many ways, going to India is just an extended version of going to school each day. I've lost count of the mornings this year where the mountain of tasks ahead has seemed utterly insurmountable, and I've had to bow down and say to Jesus: I go in your name, and in your strength, and I need your skills, cos I've got nothing. So in many ways, it's just another month of the same!

I also remembered this morning how weak I was when I went to live in France to work as part of a mission team for two years. My time there was the hardest period of my life so far- I couldn't speak French well, I had few meaningful relationships, my battle with failure and disappointment seemed unrelenting and unsuccessful, and my depression got pretty bad. But at the end of that time, a girl who I had met with to read the Bible sent me a letter that included these words:

"When I think about how much you struggled here, it convinces me so much more of your message. No one would do what you did just for fun... Thank you for your two years in Nice. Thank you for letting me be a witness to your battle and for being so human about your struggle. Your honesty has led me to this place of hope..."

It showed me that when God says he chose what is weak, his view of weakness is more thorough and profound than what I'd ever imagined, but it also showed me his indescribable grace in choosing me, in utter weakness, to do good. My friend had seen that I was weak: foolish in the world's eyes, foolish in my lack of French, prone to struggle, prone to sinfulness, battling with pain- and yet in it she'd seen Jesus. I left France with nothing to boast in of myself, but a stronger knowledge of Christ the Redeemer, and every reason to boast in Him.

Of course I am weak. But miraculously, in a manner that categorically excludes all boasting, God chose what is weak, and perfects His strength in it.

***

We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go!Yes in Thy Name, O Captain of salvation,In Thy dear name, all other names above:Jesus our righteousness, our sure foundation,Our Prince of glory, and our King of love!

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