I was really blessed by our sermon series this month at church about life verses. I loved that I got to hear the stories of the people in our leadership and how the Word of God has worked powerfully in their lives. It also got me thinking about my own life verse, and how its meaning and application in my life has evolved throughout the years as I myself had evolved.
So here’s my life verse:
9 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. 10 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 Cor. 12: 9-10)
When I first encountered this verse, I was a depressive insecure teenager with a crippling low self-esteem. I loved God and I was a Christian already even then, but for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why I was feeling like the world was crashing around my ears all the time. I felt like I was the worst Christian ever, and I didn’t know how God could ever use a zero like me. I was angsty and suicidal, but being a Christian, I fought against those thoughts and just gritted my teeth as I went through each day. I was ashamed to ask for professional help (or any help) because what would they say about a Christian depressive– what would that say about the God whom I loved so much?! I felt like this pretty much until the end of my 20s even if I had gotten better at hiding my depression from other people throughout the years. I kept people at a distance because I felt (and some experiences had proved it true) that if people really know how pathetic the real Stef was, they wouldn’t want to be with me anymore.
This verse was my lifeline throughout that time. It assured me that my God, despite all my shortcomings, still can do something good and great. And when I am weak (which I was– and am still– all the time) He is strong. It gave my–what I had thought back then–pathetic life meaning and purpose.
Eventually, the depressive episodes stopped coming (just as I was about to turn 30), and I was amazed at how freed I felt. When you’ve been living with the heavy burden of depression all your life, that’s all you know, and when it’s gone, it’s amazing to find just how light and bright life actually is!
This is still my life verse, and, while I know that I’m still far from perfect, the awareness of my own weaknesses and shortcomings is no longer burdensome, but rather a blessing. I see them as an opportunity for God’s grace to be shown to its fullest extent– in-house Godspotting! While I know that God can leverage my strengths for His glory (now that I am aware that I do have strengths), I still don’t have any qualms about Him working through my weaknesses more.
Although, I have to admit that I still pray that I would be really great and be the best writer, the best managing editor, be rich and famous (or marry a rich and famous man), and for that specter of my old thorn in the flesh to go away (my emotional instability), I’m still grateful that God doesn’t give me all that I ask for and instead tells me, “My grace is sufficient for you.” Because witnessing God’s all-sufficient grace completing my weaknesses and lack is worth all the trouble that they sometimes get me into.
So take heart, you. God’s grace is always enough.