2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (New International Version)
“Three times I pleaded 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.”
This morning I overslept. For a type A personality like mine, oversleeping is arguably the worst way to start the day. Looking for something to blame, I checked my alarm. I had set it properly for 5:30AM – not PM as I have done many times before. It was in the ON position – not the OFF position. It was set for today’s date. But it had not gone off. To confirm that I haven’t slept through it, I rolled over and asked my husband if he had heard it. He had not. Which means, it had not gone off. Because if Mykel Mitchell can’t hear anything else, he can hear my alarm or my cell phone ringing from anywhere in the house, and direct me to it. Not to mention my alarm is so obnoxious and long that the only way not to respond to it is to be in a coma.
So there I sat, bugged, irritated, mad. Of all days, with so much on my plate. “There just isn’t enough time, Lord,…” I began my complaint-prayer. “There just isn’t enough time to do all of the things I’m supposed to do today.” I was tempted to skip bible study. After all, God knows that I overslept. He knew last night WHEN I CHECKED MY ALARM that I would miss our coffee time this morning. He knows that my objective is to have to scripture of the day ready early on so that people operating on EST have it while the day is still new. He knows this, so surly, he would understand if I – I didn’t finish the thought.
I know enough to know that I can not afford to miss my quiet time with Daddy in the mornings. If I do, it’s like venturing out half sleep in a snow storm wearing only my pajamas. That’s no way to meet my day. So I sat down and took out the Christian book I have been prayerfully studying for the last two months, “Culture Making” by Andy Crouch. Want to know what sentence jumped off the page as I began reading?
“My grace is sufficient.”
“Oh, snot,” was my thought.
“But Lord, I am already so behind and the day hasn’t even started.”
“My grace is sufficient, Sheeri.”
“I’ve got so much to do.”
“MY GRACE is enough for you.”
I know I should be grateful. God has just told me that he’s got me. But instead of celebrating, I am wrestling. Why? I’m still trying to work through that one. But I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some days I don’t feel like feeling dependent on God. I know that I am, don’t get me wrong. But knowing it and being confronted with it are two totally different things. I am only confronted with it when I am weak, when I fail, when I blow it, when I screw up, when I can’t fix what’s wrong – in short when I am mortal. It took me a minute. But I submitted and with tears in my eyes, I said, “Okay.” And I handed all of my plans for today over to my Daddy, who just happens to run the universe.
And that was my quiet time this morning. So I am sharing it with you. You may not be right where you planned to be this morning. You may be facing overwhelming odds in your personal, financial, political, interpersonal, global endeavors. But here is God’s promise: Whatever he has allowed to enter your realm of influence, affliction or success (which can feel like affliction sometimes), your job is to give him your best. Some days your best may be something that you can be proud of. Other days your best may make you want to hang your head in shame. All of the time it will be affected by things completely beyond your control – the collicky newborn who cries ALL night before your very important presentation, the spouse who picks a fight with you right before the in-laws arrive, the boss who hates you, the co-worker who sabotages you,the fri-enemy who gossips about you, the driver who ran the red light, the child who doggedly pursues the wrong path with the wrong friends, the alarm clock that just did not go off.
In every situation – and trust me GOD KNOWS THEM ALL – God’s grace is more than enough. He is working on your behalf for your good and for his glory. (Romans 8:28) So do your best, but trust in his ability. He wants to cooperate with you. He wants to work through you. And unlike my alarm clock, he never malfunctions. Unlike that flaky friend or absent-minded mentor, he won’t leave you hangin.’ He loves you way too much to do that.
Now, armed with that knowledge, go forth and kick butt.
Be blessed, Family.