By the time I had left primary school, I had grown to dislike ‘Amazing Grace’, a hymn which must have a pretty high ranking in The World’s 100 Most Sung Hymns of all time. I had grown tired of it. Also, I just didn’t get it.
When I was a kid, I truly believed that a guy had decided to write this song for a lady named ‘Grace’ who had saved him.. somehow. Side note: In case you were wondering, the featured image above isn’t related to the blog post, just thought that the title was fitting. ‘Amazing Grace’ was one of my favourite childhood storybooks. Hated the illustrations though.
I eventually came to realise that grace had a meaning.. many meanings. This confused me. ‘Grace’ has dozens of definitions and synonyms that sound very similar as well as different to each other. It was in 2 Corinthians 12 that the definition of ‘grace’ was made clear to me.
2 Corinthians 12:7-8 in a nutshell:
Apostle Paul, a man who was chosen to be given many great revelations by God Himself was also inflicted with a problem from the evil one, making him weak and distressed. Paul asked God three times to take the problem away, but God wasn’t budging.
Before I found grace, I prayed to God for years to perfect my speech. I don’t have ‘The King’s Speech’ type of stammer, but I often have mind blanks and forget important words mid-sentence. This stops me from communicating what I wish to. Growing up, I allowed my weakness to take over and became reluctant to speak up. I avoided sharing my opinions in general group conversations, hated explaining things and was afraid to speak in lectures.
Like Paul, I had begged God to take away my problem. But He didn’t.
A couple of months ago, I finally got a response.
2 Corinthians 12:9
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness. (MSG)
God told Paul that His grace – his freely-given support – is all that he needs. Paul, who was obviously satisfied with this answer, decided to ‘take pleasure’ in his weakness, in which God exchanged for His strength.
Sometimes, I wonder how life would be if God had granted me that perfect voice.
Life would be sweeet! Presentations and conversations would be easy. My old dream of becoming a hair vlogger would have come true. I would probably be spitting bars on YouTube by now (not really, but still). However, perfection is highly likely to bring pride and self-glorification. Paul points out that there is a risk of us ‘exalting’ ourselves, forgetting that everything that we have is God-given.
Imperfections Perfect You
In Bishop Dag Heward-Mills’ book ‘Many Are Called‘, listed are the characteristics of people that God has chosen for His purpose. The list doesn’t say that people are called because of their money, education, successes or beauty. It includes the rejected, those with inferiority complexes and people who are not eloquent, like Moses and Jeremiah. As you read about how God was able to use these two imperfect men who were like you and I, you will begin to realise that we have no excuse but to respond to His call.
What is your thorn? Your problem? Your weakness? Whatever it may be, receive the grace to overcome it!