My mind races. My heart throbs. My hands shake. I cry out to God, asking him why He’s brought me here. I have been stripped of all my strength, all of my smarts, all of my sanity, yet He asks me to stand courageously and carry out his work.
I am vulnerable. I am powerless. I am terrified.
This often happens, doesn’t it?
God calls you into His office. He tells you about some super top-secret mission and that you’re the lucky agent He’s chosen to save the universe. You take a deep breath and accept the job. You train for months. You become the expert. You are confident, strong. Enemies beware, you are totally over-qualified for this job.
The mission is a complete failure. The enemy humiliates you in front of all of your friends, family… The entire population really. And you can just see God shaking His head. You obviously didn’t work hard enough, He never should have trusted you.
Sometimes I feel like I let God down. He asks me to do something simple, like pursue my calling as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Easy enough, right? I just have to do well in college to become certified. School is no issue, I’ve always been above-average intelligence. I can tackle college, no problem. I confidently stride into my first exam. “This is where I’m supposed to be. I’ve got this.”
A week later, I get the grade and it’s almost a full letter grade below what it needs to be. This freaks me out. I don’t get these kinds of grades. I never get these kinds of grades. I studied for this, I shouldn’t have this grade.
But is God really calling me to get good grades? Is He just calling me to study hard to get an A?
I don’t think He is.
He is calling me to fail. Isn’t that what I do best?
After that test, I read Isaiah’s prophesy about the proud city of Samaria:
“The Lord will send a mighty army against it. Like a mighty hailstorm and a torrential rain, they will burst upon it like a surging flood and smash it to the ground… It’s glorious beauty will fade like a flower… Then at last the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will himself be Israel’s glorious crown. He will be the pride and joy.”
Isaiah 28:2-5 (NLT)
God strips me of my glory. He breaks me down, crushes my strength and my beauty. He tears away my pride and I come out of the hailstorm ragged, shamed, bloody, and pitiful.
Then, He washes my wounds. He wipes the dirt from my feet and lifts my eyes to meet His. He places a glorious crown, Himself, on my head. I am radiant in His eyes.
I am radiant when the only adornment I have is Christ. I am radiant when my body is broken but covered by His love. I am radiant when my heart reflects only God’s glory, and not my own. I am radiant when I am nothing, but Christ is everything.
My mind races. My heart throbs. My hands shake. I cry out to God, asking him why He’s brought me here. I have been stripped of all my strength, all of my smarts, and all of my sanity, yet He asks me to stand courageously and carry out his work… I am radiant.
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
God, 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)