I’ve slowly been making my way through a new book. It’s meaty and I need to take time to chew and reflect. The book is called The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus’ Path of Power in a Church That Has Abandoned It, by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel.
I love this statement I read the other night. “Weakness is at the source of all that is beautiful.”
Even though, as humans, we tend to avoid weakness or vulnerability, I wholeheartedly agree with the authors. Beautiful springs from a place or a state of weakness. When I think back on the most pivotal and life changing seasons in my own journey, I can see how true this is. It was during the on my knees, I have nothing left seasons where beauty kicked open the door of my heart and found a way in.
At work, we have something called chapel time on Tuesday mornings. It’s a weekly time when our staff from our multi-site church will come together and pray, worship, reconnect and recharge. It’s definitely one of the highlights of my week.
Our pastor shared some reflections from 2 Corinthians 4: 7-18. I’ll share the whole section with you here…because it’s that good. 🙂
“Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus’ life may also be revealed in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak. We know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and present us with you. Indeed, everything is for your benefit, so that grace, extended through more and more people, may cause thanksgiving to increase to God’s glory.
Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4: 7-18
Some of the takeaway points for us to think about had to do with being intentional about keeping our eyes on the unseen.
- We are invited to live in the transcendent.
- We are invited to rise above the momentary.
- We are invited to rethink weakness and adversity.
- We focus more on the person of God instead of the work of God.
I think the point that hit me the most yesterday was the third point. “We are invited to rethink weakness and adversity.” Beauty is carried in ordinary or fragile clay jars so “this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us” In weakness, the treasure, which is Christ, receives the glory due his name (Psalm 29:2). It reminds me of the verse in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast.”
I’m not sure how all this fits together yet but in my quiet time this morning I found myself reading the following few verses in Hebrew 11. The devotional I’m reading referred to them and so I went back and read the passages.
“It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. Hebrews 11: 24-27
I noticed that my Bible names Chapter 11 “Heroes of Faith.” When I flipped over and read these verses in a couple of different translations I notice that Eugene Peterson’s, The Message, referred to this section as “Faith in What We Don’t See”
I immediately thought about the talk in chapel yesterday… to be more intentional about keeping our eyes on the unseen.
I also thought again about rethinking weakness and it being the entry point to all that is beautiful. Moses “chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.”
Wow. I love how all of this ties together. Moses chose the right treasure…even though, outwardly, it was the seemingly “weaker” path. But, he kept his eyes on the “one who is invisible.”