Scripture Reading: John 1:43-51
When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there Ithe fig tree before Philip called you.’ Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’ And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’—John 1:47-51
My step-grandfather, the only grandfather I ever knew, was a craft carpenter. He did beautify work in wood. Picking the wood for a project was the most important aspect. Even after finding the perfect piece, my grandfather would study it completely learning every unique grain design, where the flaws were he might have to work around, and where the grain was just perfect so he could exploit them to make a good piece great. God knows each of God’s children in the same way. God helps us learn from and overcome our flaws and makes our gifts stronger.
I am a bit unnerved by the thought that God knows me so intimately, but I am probably more comforted by it. I do not have to waste God’s or my time pretending I am not me. I remember Paul’s account of communing with God about his thorn in the flesh:
but [the Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
God can use our flaws when we open ourselves fully to relationship with God.
One of my college English professors had worked as a public school superintendent. He told my class once that he never hired teachers who only made A’s. He feared they would not know what it feels like to fail and recover. I do not put that much stock in grades, but I got his point and remembered the wisdom of his concern. I also always made C’s in penmanship, so I had nothing to worry about meeting my teacher’s criteria.
Prayer: God of both the Weak and the Strong, help us learn from our flaws and use our strengths to your service. Amen.