When His Luster Shines Through Our Lack
“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)
My youngest ones padded down the boardwalk with plastic sand buckets dangling from their arms like bangled bracelets. I followed the sound of their flip-flops slapping against the weathered wood and tried to rub my eyes awake.
My giddy treasure hunters had climbed out of bed in the dark, in hopes of collecting seashells at the beach before the rest of the world rose.
“Come on, Mommy,” my son, Joshua, urged as he leaped off the boardwalk and landed in the cool white sand. “We have to hurry or the best ones will be gone.”
As if on cue, streaks of pink broke through the quiet darkness, and within moments, the horizon was aflame with the hope of a new day.
“Look at all of those!” my daughter Maggie exclaimed as she surveyed the seemingly endless string of seashells deposited by the morning tide.
“Just pick your favorites,” I said with a cautionary wink. “We can’t bring all of them home.” My kids each gave a knowing nod and raced toward the water’s edge, and I sat down on a washed-up log, content to watch my early birds scour the sand.
When my son returned with his collection of treasures, I marveled over his picks — smooth shiny spirals and flawless fluted fans, shells with bold stripes and shells with subtle speckles.
My daughter’s finds, however, were shoddy in comparison. And each shell she’d selected bore a hole in its rippled surface.
Joshua studied his sister’s stash with wordless confusion and then kindly offered to help her find some shells without holes.
“No, thanks,” Maggie replied with a satisfied smile. “I’ve got plans for those holes.”
As we headed for home, Maggie prattled happily about her grand ideas for those fissured finds. “I just need to string some thread through those holes, and then I’ll be able to make something beautiful!” she declared, while skipping through the sand.
Suddenly, I realized my little girl’s imperfect treasures weren’t a source of exasperation; they were a springboard for inspiration. She didn’t view the chinks in her shells as a liability; she saw them as a possibility.
Remarkably, our Maker sees us in the same light.
Our key verse reminds us God is not deterred by the “holes” in our lives. God sees our weaknesses as an opportunity to spotlight His strength.
It’s an amazing truth we see all through Scripture — God’s luster can shine brightly through our lack. On days when you’re having a hard time believing that, remember these real-life stories from Scripture:
God displays His colossal strength through a small shepherd boy who fights a giant (1 Samuel 17).
God displays His lavish fruitfulness through a barren womb that gives birth to the Messiah’s family line (Genesis 17:19).
God displays His unassailable sufficiency through the dire poverty of a desperate widow (2 Kings 4:1-7).
And His unlikely story continues through you and through me.
God doesn’t need flawless followers to make Him famous. Instead, He needs surrendered lives through which to shine. As we read in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “… My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness …”
So, the next time we feel discouraged by our weakness or disheartened by our lack, let’s remember that, like a 7-year-old girl I know, God’s got big plans for our holes.
And when we place both our gifts and our gaps into the hands of our wise Creator, He’ll make something beautiful for the world to see.
Dear Jesus, remind me I don’t need to be perfect to be used by You. I want my life to showcase Your strength. Please use my holes to highlight Your Holiness. Shine Your glory through my gaps. And let my life be a testimony of Your power and presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 138:8a, “The LORD will work out his plans for my life — for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.” (NLT)
1 Samuel 16:7b, “… The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (NLT)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What is one “weakness” God might want to use to display His power in your life?
Take time to tell someone how you see God shining through his/her gaps this week.