By Lisa Huddleston
“We pray for you all the time–pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something.” (2 Thess. 1:11, MSG)
God works hard to get my attention. Because he knows how slow I can be, he often floods my mind with the same truth from many different directions. Right now, he is teaching me that there is no such thing as human perfection–at least, not outside of Christ. He knows why I need to learn this truth. He knows that I struggle for control, for the right to be right, for the power to avoid humiliation. And he knows that I am dust. Because he is ever gracious, he is showing me that I am not alone in my flawed humanity. None is good, no not one. So he is knocking them down. All the thinkers, the leaders, the writers I have lifted far above myself and elevated to impossible heights. All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. He alone is worthy to receive glory and honor and praise!
As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I am currently studying Church History with my fellow MCS-ers at Union University. We are reading and discussing those who have impacted the Church, and each of us is researching one of these individuals on which to write a paper and report. One by one, week after week, we are awed by the power of God at work through men and women who have written and done things to change the world. And we have also been saddened by the blind spots that history reveals. Martin Luther and anti-Semitism. George Whitefield and slavery. And my personal study subject, Dorothy L. Sayers and her relationship with her illegitimate son. How could they not see what they were doing?
Yesterday, my daughter texted me that she was listening to an NPR report on the recently released Jackie Kennedy tapes in which JK is speaking about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s purported sexual exploits. As a young woman, Sarah had never heard these reports before, and she texted me to express her shock and disappointment. She wondered how such a terrible account could be true of one whom she had regarded as a martyr and a hero. Although not news to me, it still saddened me to hear it again, and I commiserated with her. How could such a good man do such a bad thing? A Baptist preacher! A husband and a father! How sad to hear of such failure from one we all admire.
One by one, the mighty fall. And the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Like the World Trade Towers disintegrating into dust. And we who do so little shake our heads. Tsk. Tsk. Who’d a thought it? But if only perfect people can serve God then no one would ever qualify. No one would ever risk to act. And nothing truly great could ever be done through anyone. Certainly not me. I have just enough self-awareness to know that I am blind–not completely but enough that I could never withstand the magnifying glass of a biographer.
It takes great faith to do great things, and a great God to put such things in our hearts. May I be fit, O Lord, for what you’ve called me to be. And may my acts of faith (please, give me faith!) be filled with your energy in order that they should amount to something great.