or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleased with the Lord to take it away from me. 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. 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.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (ESV)
Flaws make Surrender easier.
Our acceptance of them reminds us that
You are God, we belong to You, and even in our striving,
we accept with grace and joy that
You alone are Perfect
and worthy of our worship
I’ve been watching a dear friend evolve recently. She and I agree that God tied us together for many reasons, one being that some of the scary paths I have walked I now see her on. God placed me in her midst to testify that though those paths are scary, she does not walk them alone, she will get through, and as God (and technology) permit, I will cheer her on her way. This morning, God placed a word in my spirit for her. Be Flawed.
My beautiful, wonderful, wise and anointed friend has, among many gifts, a capacity conundrum. What’s a capacity conundrum? Well, when God blesses you with talent, time, ability, there is a breaking point at which you should surrender, but usually don't. I once thought that it wasn’t hubris, but God has revealed to me that of course it is. It is not an intentional sin, but it is sin nonetheless. It is the act of relying upon what we believe are our own strengths, instead of throwing up our hands in either exhaustion or praise, or both, and giving it over to God. We need to remember to lean on God. From the beginning. Not when we're weary, or when we're nearly out of gas. It always comes back to surrender.
Lately, she is talking about surrender. I know that talk. I’ve had it with myself; I’ve had it with God. It’s not an easy conversation, and most people who start it have it continually. So while this may sound like a public service announcement, know, sweet friend, this message is specifically for you. Surrender is not easy, but know that it is God’s Will. Imagine walking to the edge of the Grand Canyon, turning your back to the ledge, and falling. Surrender can be that scary. One of two things will happen. Either gravity will take over and you will fall, or the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Great I AM, He Who Was, and Is, and Shall Be Forevermore will capture you in His loving arms, and carry you higher.
Flaws. That is why for Christ's sake,
we delight in weakness,
insults, hardships, and persecutions.
As I think and pray about you and all you intend to accomplish today, I was reminded of a lesson my mother taught me as a child. Be flawed, sweet girl. Carrying within you the story of the Spirit Bead. In Native and African American creative traditions, we acknowledge our humanity, our flaws, that we are fierce and fragile and beautifully human intentionally. We create beautiful, useful things, but with deliberateness weave imperfection in to acknowledge that we can never be perfect. It is a sacrament, this practice of the Spirit Bead. The Spirit Bead says, You are God, we belong to You, and even in our striving, we accept with grace and joy that You alone are Perfect and worthy of our worship, and so, in all we do, all we are, all we have, we surrender.
We need to rethink the language we use.
Do flaws deflate our value,
or are they the things that make us unique?
I read somewhere, unattributed, that “Surrender can be the sweetest thing. Practice surrender and let the Universe do its work." While I am clear that the unknown author did not write it for you or for me, this is the encouragement I need when throwing up my hands is the scary thing I cannot do. When I first came across it, knowing I would return to it, unpacking it as necessary with new lessons learned, I could never have known not only that it would speak to me, but how I would share it with you.
And that is the elegance of God. He always knew, even at the dawning of time when and how desperately I'd need Surrender, the sacrament of the Spirit Bead, and divine invitations to fall into to God’s Grace. He also knew that once I learned these lessons that I’d have it them to give to you.
So, go fiercely into your day sweet warrior. Go full on. Be Flawed, because when you are living life fully committed, you will make mistakes. You will fail, but when you embrace your failures merely as turns in the road, that’s when the journey gets really exciting. I’m here. Me and God. Cheering you on, laughing with you, laughing at you, laughing at myself…and for today THIS IS OUR WORSHIP.