Many years ago either when I was dating my wife or early on in our marriage, someone in her family(whom I will not name) made a statement that has remained a standing joke through the years. As I was standing in a line up next to one of my wife’s brothers, the comment was made, “I never realized how short Steve was till he stood next to Barry.” After nearly 30 years that statement will invariably come up sometime in the year. At least they didn’t say, “I never realized how dumb, or how ugly, or how weak……” There have been times in my life where I wished that I had been taller. When I was younger there were many times I wanted to change a lot of things about me.
Listen to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12. He prayed that God would remove some sort of issue in his life(thorn in the flesh). We do not know exactly what it was, a physical ailment like poor vision, a speech impediment, seizures, headaches, have all been suggested. Some even think it was repeated temptations that he struggled with such as can be exemplified in Romans 7.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NASB77)
7 And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me—to keep me from exalting myself!
8 Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
To really see how short I am, it is best to see me standing with my taller brother-in-laws. When we look at pictures, to get an idea of how big or small something is we look at something else in the picture to compare it to. I may look fairly good at playing tennis at times, until you see me playing against just about anyone else that has played a little more than me. Are we content with our weaknesses as Paul was?
We need to recognize that our desire to give God glory, which is what we were designed to do, is best fulfilled with God being seen in us, as we are exposed as weak, mortal individuals, in desperate need of God’s presence and redeeming work. Do you recognize how “short” you are? It’s okay, your feet still touch the floorJ, and in the midst of your “shortness”, Christ can be seen all the more clearly and Jesus will be glorified! Mission accomplished!
So no matter who you are standing in a line up with, embrace your weakness and know that God is sufficient! Know that He will be seen!