Not Perfect, But Okay
Not Perfect, But Okay – He Said
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6 NIV
“Come on, Mr. Eddie, let’s go.”
I glanced up at the rocky crag towering above us. Christopher referred to our hike as climbing a foothill, but at 12,183 feet above sea level the mountain felt like Mt. NeverRest. Before I could stop him – before I could counter with “let’s go … back down” — Christopher scaled the cliff and left me panting.
Problem with keeping up with a young boy Christopher’s age (eight) is that he is new. His joints are lubricated, lungs pliable, and heart unburdened by the cares of life. For me, each step produced wheezing and wobbling, and confirmed my deepest fear – I’d grown old.
Peter writes that if we let God have his way with us, in time, he may lift us up. Call it burn out, “drowned out” (swamped with life’s problems), or flat-out fatigue, but lately I’ve felt God’s mighty hand leaving me wrung out. God sentenced Moses to a desert, Joseph to a prison, and Jesus to a Cross. But in due time – at the right time – God brought them up and out.
Long after Christopher reached the rocky crag, I clambered over the last boulder and sat. While my new best friend posed on the peak for his picture (fearless and confident), I whispered, “God, if he wants to go further, you’ll have to carry me the rest of the way. I cannot climb your mountain.”
While I hunched forward to catch my breath, Christopher slid next to me and spoke God’s words into my tired heart.
“You may not be perfect, Mr. Eddie, but you’re okay.”
You’re pretty okay, too, Christopher.
The hand of God
Pride and Prejudice – She Said
So don’t be proud. Put yourselves under God’s mighty hand. Then he will honor you at the right time. Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV
I put the suitcase in the car and returned to my room. Empty. Hummm, where’d they go? I opened the door and wandered the hallways looking for my group. They were nowhere to be found, so I meandered out to the car and waited another fifteen minutes. By this time it was obvious my group had left me.
Oh well. I headed to the cafeteria to grab breakfast. There they were. My morning shower must have been short lived or I wasn’t meant to be included. I would have preferred the first … at least it was good cause to be left out.
I waded through the breakfast crowd, grabbed my meal, and headed toward my friend’s … gone. Now I’m feeling a little shunned.
Shortly after breakfast one of my friends asked if I’d head into town to run some errands. So I did. It was an opportunity to check out a unique little town in the Rockies, so me and my bruised ego headed out.
As I stood in the grocery line, a man and his wife whispered among themselves. Awkward, again. The automatic response was, “they’re talking about me.” I shifted from foot to foot wishing the cashier would hurry so I could leave.
Sometimes our pride trumps reality. We assume everything should center around us. The incidents become personal. I must have done or said something that made folks treat me this way, when truthfully that’s a lie we tell ourselves.
God’s hand is mighty and despite how I look at myself, He sees me through eyes of purity and grace. He understands my insecurities and sometimes even lets me wallow in them. When the time is right, He lifts me up…shows me just how special I am. Then God, in His loving and tender way, reminds me I am loved – especially by Him.
Just as I laid my items on the counter to pay, the man behind me tapped me on the shoulder. “Aren’t you a writer?”
I was dumbfounded. I’m 1500 miles away from home, in an obscure little store in the Rockies and this man asks if I’m a writer. “Yes, I am. How did you know?”
His wife pulled a wadded sheet of paper from her purse and straightened the wrinkles. It was a devotion printed from our website. One I’d written about our prodigal son.
“I knew it was you.” She said. “I read this every day. I see your picture every day. We have a prodigal son too.” For the next few minutes we shared a very intimate discussion.
I was honored…touched, this woman across the country, had kept the words I’d written as her encouragement.
God works to admonish us when the time is right. His plans are wonderfully woven together for us. I was feeling a little left out and I assumed they didn’t want to include me. God let me crawl around awhile before He touched my heart with the reason He wanted me in that town, in that store, at that time.
When you feel discouraged and left out, wait on God. His hand is mighty and His plans are perfect. He will honor you when He sees the time is right.
Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles are friends and cofounders of ChristianDevotions.us. They cowrite the popular He Said, She Said devotions and host Blog Talk Radio’s Christian Devotions SPEAK UP! along with Scott McCausey. Eddie and Cindy travel and speak at conferences across the country and they are available to speak at your church or conference. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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