Do you ever wish part of being a human meant having a mind like a steel trap? I do because I have the most horrible memory. I forget things people ask me to do, conversations I have, things I read, things from my past, and so much more (at this time I would like to formally apologize if I have ever forgotten to do something you asked me to do or forgotten an important conversation we have ever had). And a big part of having a bad memory, unfortunately, means constantly forgetting the truth of the gospel.
I think it was Marian Jordan Ellis (founder of Redeemed Girl Ministries and speaker to college-aged and twenty something women) who said, “We are gospel leakers.” What does this mean, you may ask? Well, it means exactly what it says: we constantly forget the gospel. Picture ordering a medium sweet tea from Chick-fil-a–something you’ve been looking forward to all day long, the only thing that can make your day better–and the cup has a hole in it, the worst possible thing that could happen in this moment! That is us. Our minds have holes in them; they leak the gospel; we forget the Truth, and attempt to fill in the holes ourselves.
That’s what I’ve been doing recently. I am forever forgetting the truth of the gospel–that I am known, loved, accepted, forgiven by God through Christ–and trying to fill in the gaps on my own. And when I put my hope in myself and not in Christ, those gaps get filled with fear, anxiety, and worry. They get filled with lies from the enemy instead of Truth from God.
Lately, forgetting the gospel has caused me to question God and His calling on my life. I have been believing that because I am struggling to raise support so I can tell college girls about Jesus, then God must not actually be calling me to do this. I’ve realized that my thought process has been struggling equals weakness, which equals failure, and I have a huge fear of failure. But this thought process is totally opposite of what the Word of God says. The first part of 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he (Jesus) said to me (Paul), ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” According to this verse, admitting I have weaknesses in raising support (or in life in general) does not make me less of a person, a bad Christian, or a failure–it makes my need for God that much greater! Because I am human, I will always have weaknesses, but I have to remember that that is when God is most glorified!
This is where the second half of 2 Corinthians 12:9 and verse 10 come into play: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Instead of fearing my weaknesses and thinking my identity is in my weaknesses, I have to remember the Truth–God delights in my weaknesses because it allows Him to swoop in and be my knight in shining armor. Because I am in Christ, my identity will never be “weak, failure, unloved, unknown” and it will always be “strong in Christ, successful according to God’s standards, loved and known by God.”
God uses our weaknesses to show us our need for Him.
This is something I wrote in my journal yesterday:
“My anxiety has been pretty bad the last couple of days. I’ve felt like a failure, and fear has taken over. I’m fearful that I will be in this season of life (support raising) forever. But I am also fearful of the next season of life (moving to Los Angeles). Why do I allow fear to take over my life, to control me? Why do I allow fear to dictate my actions and my emotions? What am I so afraid of? The unknown? Yes. Failure? Yes. Rejection? Yes. Being alone? Yes. Why can’t I just remember and live in light of how God sees me? He knows everything–the future, the good and the bad. He doesn’t see me as a failure–“failure” is NOT my identity! God will NEVER reject me, and He will NEVER leave me alone. Life would be a thousand times easier if I could just remember the gospel and who I am in Christ every day, all the time. Why do I strive for ease, comfort, control, success, and good appearance to others? Because I am a gospel leaker.”
Quicken me to call upon thy name, for my mind is ignorant, my thoughts vagrant, my affections earthly, my heart unbelieving, and only thy Spirit can help my infirmities.
I approach thee as Father and Friend, my portion for ever, my exceeding joy, my strength of heart.
I believe in thee as the God of nature, the ordainer of providence, the sender of Jesus my Saviour.
My guilty fears discourage an approach to thee, but I praise thee for the blessed news that Jesus reconciles thee to me.
May the truth that is in him illuminate in me all that is dark, establish in me all that is wavering, comfort in me all that is wretched, accomplish in me all that is of thy goodness, and glorify in me the name of Jesus.”
–The Valley of Vision, “Truth In Jesus”
“When difficulty exposes the weakness of your resolve and the limits of your strength, you do not have to panic, because he will endure even in those moments when you don’t feel able to do so yourself.” –New Morning Mercies, “January 12″ by Paul Tripp