Daily Devotion for February 8, 2021

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. 2 Corinthians 12:9
When I was in about third grade, I started to take piano lessons. I continued playing and even became a piano major in college. Unfortunately, I had a self-confidence problem. I panicked when playing in public. The fear of making a mistake caused my mind to freeze up and my hands to shake. I had a horrid experience at a recital when I was in 8th grade. A Bach piece that I knew backwards and forwards and played to perfection in practice and with my instructor, I bungled badly at the recital. I had a similar experience with “jury” recitals in college, unable to perform when the focus of attention was on me. Fear of making a mistake, not being perfect, and the possibility of public embarrassment caused me to give up piano for years. For whatever reason, I had internalized a mis-guided belief that perfection was the standard and it scared me to death.
Many of us view our relationship with God in such a way. We see God as a heavenly taskmaster just waiting for us to make a mistake. We may love God and desire to serve God but underneath we question our value and feel unworthy to be used for leadership or maybe even to be loved. Dear friends, do not listen to these inner accusations from the Accuser. God desires the opposite message to be embedded in our hearts and spirits as God says through Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you.” I am not sure why it is often easier to hear our internal negatives than the love, mercy, and grace of God. I wish there was space to share all the stories in scripture when ere the most unlikely, flawed people became the ones used by God to bring great blessing. I think of the woman at the well who became a transformative influence of her entire village when she felt the embrace of Jesus love even after the life she had lived. I think of the apostle Paul who went from persecutor to preacher.
The good news for this day is that because of God’s grace and love for us, God can use our weakness, our human frailty to demonstrate His power. In fact, it is easier for God to work through those we describe as weak than those whose self-sufficiency blocks them from depending upon God. Now, in public I still play piano with vibrato because of engrained nervousness. However, through God’s strength I have been able to sing and preach with confidence in front of large crowds. I do not think God cares about our past failures or current imperfections, God’s love for us can transform our future. Trust in the superabounding love and grace of God for you!
Gracious God, thank you for your great gift of grace. May we trust you and better accept ourselves so that we can more freely share your good news. Amen.