Telling a man that they are average is like responding to a woman who asks you how they look in a new outfit “you look okay.” These subtle words appear harmless unless you’re struggling with your self-esteem. While telling the truth about your own observations may get you in trouble with a significant other, I’ve reached a point in life where I’ve accepted who I am. I’m just an average Joe who serves an almighty God.
And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn ([a]a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. 8 Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me; 2 Corinthians 12:7-8.
Although most people call me Jay, my birth name is Joseph J. Mankus Jr. Minus my Lithuanian middle name, which is another story for a later time. By the time I reached high school, answering the phone with “Joe Junior or Senior” got too annoying as most calls were for my father. Subsequently, I made it known to everyone that from here on out, call me Jay.
But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and [b]show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may [c]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! – 2 Corinthians 12:8
This decision coincides with when I first became a Christian on December 4th, 1984. Like the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-31, I haven’t always taken a straight path, wandering off and abandoning God for multiple periods and seasons. Yet now I’m back and have come to terms with my current role in life. Like the old Bruce Carroll song, I’m an Average Joe who is ready to serve an almighty God.
by Jay Mankus