God's word in today's world

Your flaw God’s possibility


After one book launch evening, my wife came to me and said that people were asking her to explain what I had written in front of the book. They couldn’t make out what I had written. Yes, I failed this one in Sub A already: Penmanship.

I’m very grateful today for computers and keyboards that shape every letter exactly the way it should be each and every time. If Cross-roads readers had to read my handwriting, I wouldn’t have had even one single reader.

I suspect Paul was in the same boat. I don’t know if you knew this, but Paul had a secretary who wrote his letters for him. Maybe his handwriting was also a bit off. But to ensure that his readers knew that it was his own words, he personally ended off his letters.

I can just imagine Paul sitting with the scroll, taking the pen firmly in his hand, and his tongue probably clamped between his lips: 17I, Paul, bid you good-bye in my own handwriting. I do this in all my letters, so examine my signature as proof that the letter is genuine.

Those rough soldier’s hands that could make a sword dance through the air like a ballerina were not as comfortable with a small ink feather. His fingers simply too clumsy, too inept to make those fine turns and curls.

This was a shortcoming, a flaw in Paul’s makeup. That is how he went through life, rough and rugged, and writing was not one of his skills. He was qualified in the art of combat. He was experienced as a soldier. But like many of us, he probably didn’t make it in the writing stakes.

During the first part of his life this actually wasn’t a problem, because a soldier isn’t expected to write. But then his life changed. Paul met the living God on the road to Damascus. He was called to proclaim the gospel in a world where Jesus’ light wasn’t shining yet.

I suspect that not everything in Paul fell into place with this 180°turnabout. His handwriting remained the same. And you must remember: Part of his calling was to write letters so that we can still clearly hear the message today.

Now what? “O, Lord,” Paul probably said, “I’m so excited to proclaim your message. My feet are itching and I’m excited to get going. I’m not afraid of the unknown. there’s just this one small thing. This letter writing. You know the scrawl …”

No, Paul makes a plan with his flaw. He gets a secretary. And the dictating probably didn’t go that smoothly. Maybe he was frustrated by the secretary not writing fast enough, or maybe in the beginning he wanted to include his own words as well. But it doesn’t matter, Paul overcame his flaw. And today you and I and millions of other Christians learn such a lot from his writings.

How many times in my life I’ve said: “Sorry, that’s not my calling.” Or “No, I can’t do that, it’s just that I have this flaw.”

What a feeble apology. For you and for me.

We must know that God will help us to overcome it. We must just be prepared not to try and find an excuse. We must be prepared to what God called us to do amidst our apparent flaws and shortcomings.

Watch out. God is very good in using our shortcomings to make a difference in the lives of others. May this be true in your life!

Scripture

2 Thessalonians 3:16-18

Reflection

What flaws do you have?
Do you use that as an excuse?
What now?

Prayer

Father, I thank You for being almighty. I thank You for already having a plan for all my shortcomings. I don’t know how to overcome them. Now I give everything to You. Amen.

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