Have you ever seen the movie The Sound of Music? The main character, Maria, is a young wanna-be nun who can’t seem to get it together. She seems to make mistakes constantly. At one point in the movie the other nuns stand around and sing a song called “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” They contemplate that it’s easier to “keep a wave upon the sand” than to figure out how to help Maria get her stuff together. That’s how much a mess this girl is.
I am such a Maria.
I have made so many mistakes in my life, and I continue to stumble my way through life to this day. If there’s food nearby it will somehow drop onto my shirt. I can’t seem to be on time for anything. (I was close to an hour late for my first wedding.) My desk at work is a mess, and, please, don’t even ask to ride in my car! (Not because I wouldn’t give you a ride, but because I’m so embarrassed about the fact that it looks like a war zone inside that thing.) There are places and people I sometimes avoid because the last time I saw them or went there I made such a fool of myself. And, not surprisingly, diets and budgets are two things I tend to break like they’re made out of glass.
Sometimes it seems like I’ll never get it right. Like life is a test that other people can pass but I’ve gotta take over and over. Weakness and failure often haunt me, leaving me devoid of hope.
It’s about at that point that God usually reminds me of the verses from the Bible that I’ve come to call my “life verses”:
“For He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I would rather boast in my weaknesses that Christ’s power may dwell in me. For now I delight in insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
He is strong. He is enough. With God as my life coach I don’t have to worry about those failures or other people’s opinions of me. He’s got me.
I could even take it one step further and point out that, according to this verse, weakness and failure are not as bad as we think.
I almost think we are supposed to feel weak. We are supposed to mess up. Why? Because our failures point us to the God of hope. Our weaknesses cause us to cry out to our warrior of a God to fight our battles for us. He is the one we are supposed to look to for our success.
He is strongest in my life when I am weak, when I call out to him for help.
That gives me so much hope. I don’t have to be afraid or ashamed of my Charlie Brown tendencies. God is using my failures to display His glory.
When I do it all right I tend to try to take all the credit and I take my eyes off my Father. But when I know I can’t do it He can step in and show off His amazing power. His ways are better than my ways anyway.
So, even though I’m a bit of a wreck at times, my God is big enough to clean up my messes and make it turn out good.