Over the years, I was led to believe that I need to be my best at everything. With extra effort, I can be this awesome Christian, amazing man, incredible husband, an outstanding father, a great pastor, and best friend to all. If I would apply myself, I could do more than I ever imagined possible.
Then one day I read about the Apostle Paul. He tells the Church in the city of Corinth that he had this thorn in his flesh that made him weak. There are numerous theories on what this mysterious issue might be, but no one is sure. I am convinced it was something to do with his eyes. When converted, he had scales on his eyes that might have impacted his vision. Then he would be beaten and stoned, which could have further affected his eyesight. On top of all that he was getting older and with age comes failing vision. He mentions to the Church in Galatia about how he writes with large letters (Gal 6:11), and in the same message, he says that if it were possible, they would have torn out their eyes and given them to him (Gal 4:15). Can you imagine what life would be like as a writer if you had limited vision? Your primary ministry in Jesus’ name slowly slipping out of sight, and there was nothing you could do to stop it.
Paul went to the Lord and pleaded for this thorn in his flesh to be removed. At this point, God gives him this fascinating response, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
God tells Paul that his inadequacies are the place where he can do his most significant work. Our weakness, plus God, equals greatness.
Many times, the encouragement of others, including my peers, is a form of self-trust. If I do more, then I will achieve more. If I overcame my flaws and shortcomings, then God will do great things through me.
If I understand Paul correctly, I need to give my best effort, and God will overcome all my inadequacies. His power is shown in my weakness. Maybe the secret to having a significant impact for the kingdom of God is more faith in him and less work on myself. I don’t have to be amazing, and neither do you, God is enough for us all.