Some weeks lately I’ve hesitated posting a God Sighting Saturday list because it often focuses on all the good things in life, the noteworthy and exciting things. Even the hard things mentioned often get framed in a good light, and like often happens with social media, it gives off a false impression that life is 100% awesome all of the time. It’s not true. That one person you know on Facebook that always seems to “have their life all together” … totally does not. You know that, right?!?
I’ve wrestled a lot lately with what to post on social media or what to write on the blog, especially when it comes to gratitude and the “good” things of life. This is hard because I’ve also been hyper-aware of the not-so-good things in my friends’ lives and mine as well. I’m challenged to present the whole picture, and yet, posting the good moments… the God-moments, for me at least, are not necessarily trying to hide the hard that we all have in life. Rather, it’s about focusing my mind and heart on what matters most in the middle of the hard. It’s a “holy defiance” of sorts.
Even this morning I was accused by a friend of throwing on a happy face when she knew I wasn’t so happy. While there might be some truth to that (friends always know!), the bigger reality was that I was actively trying to be defiant against letting a hard morning ruin a whole day. “Fake-it-til-you-make-it” can be deception and if we’re not careful about being honest about what’s hard we can isolate ourselves and become bitter and lonely. At the same time, I think there is some space for willing ourselves into gratitude.. for staring down the hard and simply saying, “Not today Satan”.
He is a thief. Oh man, he loves to do anything to steal and kill and destroy in our lives (John 10:10). He delights in seeing the littlest thing ruin a day or distract us from the life God has for us. He fights so hard.
And we must fight back.
Sometimes that fight looks like choosing to post the one good thing that happened in a day.
Sometimes it looks like a long gratitude list of the good things because our brains have been listing the not-so-good on repeat and something has to break that cycle.
Sometimes it looks like getting out of bed, putting on a favorite shirt (even if you’re not 100% sure whether it’s clean or not), digging out a smile, and going on with your day whether you feel like it or not.
All that to say this: the place I saw God at work this week most was in my weakness. Every single time I saw God show up came wrapped in something hard or painful or exhausting. The moments when physically, emotionally, or spiritually I was tempted to ‘throw in the towel’ so to speak were the moments that left me with so much joy at what God accomplished despite my failure or lack.
“… I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. … when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
Verse nine talks about God’s power showing up in contrast to our weakness. However, in verse ten, it’s not just God who’s strong… WE become strong when we depend on His power in our weakness. I don’t always understand this upside-down and backwards way of God’s Kingdom, but I’m thankful for this truth: when I am weak, I am also my strongest. While Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians have often been favorites of mine, I don’t think I’ve every seen them as true as I did this week. Yes, I saw God in awesome encouraging friends and incredible conversations and the ministry I got to be part of and cute babies, but more than anything, I saw Him in my weakness. He showed up… big time and for that I can’t thank Him enough!