Whenever a team receives awards, praise and recognition, there is a temptation for the best athletes/players to take most of the credit. Yet, God uses a series of events, methods and situations to prevent success from going to your head. At the height of the apostle Paul’s missionary journeys, thousands of people came to faith in Christ. Instead of saying, “look at how great I am,” Paul became inflicted with a painful physical ailment. This condition forced Paul to rely on the Lord for strength. God used what little energy Paul possessed to demonstrate how great the Lord can work in spite of our weaknesses.
Because of the surpassing greatness and extraordinary nature of the revelations [which I received from God], for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me—to keep me from exalting myself! – 2 Corinthians 12:7
While Jews lived as slaves for nearly 400 years within Egypt, God called one man to confront their leader. The only problem is that this man, Moses, suffered from a severe speech impediment. In other words, Moses stuttered regularly, especially when he was nervous. Despite this disability, God wanted Moses to be the one to lead Israel’s exodus out of Egypt. Initially, God gave Moses a safety blanket, his brother Aaron to speak for him. However, at some point the Holy Spirit empowered Moses to have the courage and words to stand up to Pharaoh. Throughout this ordeal. Moses learned that God can use a faithful stutterer to do things that was once unimaginable for someone with this condition.
Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; 9 but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me, 2 Corinthians 12:8-9.
As I look back on my own life, I was never a good student until high school. I endured a learning disability which led to a fifth grade reading level while in tenth grade. When you add this to my own speech impediment, regularly stammering words, the odds were against me. Yet, in my many weaknesses, Christ has become a strong influence in my life. Although I am no longer a high school teacher, my former fear of speaking in public has vanished. Sure, I probably could have done more with my life. Nonetheless, God uses what little you and I have to demonstrate how great God is.
by Jay Mankus