Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Weakness and Fools

I have the feeling God is speaking to my heart about weaknesses.  This has been the theme in all my readings from Scripture to daily devotions to "regular" books.  Weaknesses...plural to be sure.  I am wondering what I will learn about myself in the coming weeks or months.  I already know a lot about my weaknesses...I am easily distracted. I don't multitask well (because I am easily distracted). I am too critical of my children. I don't expect enough from my children.  I suffer from "revolving world syndrome" (which is probably what I suffer from the most)...

I love the verses that say  " But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong " and "for when I am weak, then I am strong."  I really get all that...when I remember to ponder it.  Often, I just blow through the day getting frustrated with my foolishness and  weaknesses, but then I am reminded that it is not my strength or wisdom that is important...it is my trust in the One who is more than "strong enough" to help me bear whatever load needs to be carried, and who is more than "wise enough" to instruct and guide me along right paths. 

I am reading a book about being a praying parent.  I am a praying parent, and I want to grow in this area...but I also know it is not that saying all the right words in prayer or thinking all the right thoughts will protect and shield my children like rubbing a magic lamp and making a wish.  I know from first-hand experience that prayer is powerful and it sustains...but I also know that when I decide, in advance, what the answer to my prayer should look like then I am a fool masquerading as a wise man.  How do people come away with the idea that if we just pray the right prayer and our faith is strong enough then nothing we don't want to have happen will happen?  I am thinking they are not reading the same Bible that I am. (Yes, I know there are passages that taken by themselves might lead to those thoughts, but taken as a whole, the Word makes it clear--LOL--to me anyway ;-)--that trouble and calamity can be expected in this life  even as our desire to know and be known by God deepens... and yet that paradoxical Peace can be expected to be right there in the midst of all that calamity.) Most of us really do know that the absence of hard times is not a reflection of our goodness any more than the presence of difficulties is proof we are unrighteous...yet we seem to buy into that mentality repeatedly.  I guess maybe on some level we want it to be true.  But since none of us is all that "good" to begin with, I think that wouldn't work out so well for most of us.  At least I know it wouldn't for me.

When I say I am a "weak fool," I am not trying to be self-deprecating.  I am stating a fact that allows me to receive, for my good,  His strength and His wisdom.  Oh, that I could consistently recognize what a weak fool I am.  I sure could save myself a heap of worry and trouble.  Instead I have tried at different times to cover it up in my pretense that I am strong and wise. I am so thankful that this is not a fight I have to fight on my own...and actually the Battle is already won for me (and for you).  Now, wouldn't I be foolish to forget this?

The strife is o'er, the battle won;
The victory of life is won;
The song of triumph  has begun.

Words: Un­known au­thor; trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Fran­cis Pott, 1861.

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