Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Moments of Grace

I spend a lot of time in coffee shops. Second only to work and my bed. Last week I spent about 4 hours at one of them reading a book in preparation for a class I would be teaching on prayer. I really struggled with this particular element of prayer in my own life, and I had no idea what to say about it. Hence, the book I read for 4 hours. Maybe only 3, because I sometimes got distracted by the guitar playing and the old lady telling the baristas her life story. And I felt like I was getting nothing out of it. I was getting so frustrated. Here I was, volunteering to teach a class that wasn’t even mine, and choosing the hardest topic ever to talk about. Was I an idiot? Was I in over my head? Why couldn’t I wrap my mind around whatever it was I was supposed to be understanding? Why had I just wasted hours of my life on something that was useless?

On my drive back home, I just vented to God. What is wrong with me? What do you want me to say? I don’t get it! I just don’t understand! As I repeated these mantras of failure over and over in my mind, a verse in 2 Corinthians 12 that I had read earlier that day came to me… “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Yeah, you don’t get it. You don’t understand. And that’s just how I want it – my grace is sufficient for your lack of knowing. My power is made PERFECT in your weakness. With an unspoken “Oh,” I burst into a fresh phase of tears. This is where He wants me after all. Every time my mind went back to the ifs and buts, I just kept hearing the same thing. My grace is sufficient… My grace is sufficient… My grace is sufficient…

He is glorified when I am weak because that is the only time I will LET Him save me.

I got my lesson done the night before the class. All was well.


I read this in Henri Nouwen's Reaching Out today. Spiritual punch in the face. And perfectly befitting for such a post as this.

"To prepare ourselves for service we have to prepare ourselves for an articulate not knowing, a docta ignorantia, a learned ignorance. This is very difficult to accept for people whose whole attitude is towards mastering and controlling the world. We all want to be educated so that we can be in control of the situation and make things work according our our own need. But education to ministry is an education not to master God but to be mastered by God... well-educated ministers are not individuals who can tell you exactly who God is, where good and evil are and how to travel from this world to the next, but people whose articulate not-knowing makes them free to listen to the voice of God in the words of the people, in the events of the day and in the books containing the life experience of men and women from other places and other times. In short, learned ignorance makes one able to receive the word from others and the Other with great attention."


  1. Wow, Baby. That is an amazing story. I know this is true in my head, but so many times my heart forgets. When we feel totally helpless, God has us right where He needs us to be to use us best. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Hey Reagan,
    Just that random guy from SNU dropping in...thank you for sharing you, it's funny how hard it is to practice the docta ignorantia isn't it (great quote)? Especially when we're dealing with a loss of direction...amid all the questions, we can rest in "My grace is sufficient..."