When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
Read that a couple times. Soak it in. Isn't that wonderful? Read it again. And again!
I've been struggling with a feeling of spiritual inadequacy lately. Feeling I don't have the right answers, I don't have the persuasiveness, the eloquence or enough knowledge to "proclaim the testimony about God." Talk about "weakness" and "fear" and "with much trembling!"
Last week I had a long conversation with a homeless woman while waiting for my train home from work. In her pain and anger she lashed out, "who is God and why does he let me live like this? Where's his love? Isn't he a god of love? Prove it! Prove it to me!" I was upset with myself that I didn't have some astounding theological answer to that....didn't even have a coherent answer to that...but instead, all I could do was sit there with her and hold her hand as she cried.
I've read 1 Corinthians 2 before. But yesterday, reading through it again under my covers, late at night, I was shocked and amazed to read that Paul struggled with the very same thing! The *very* same thing.
And it's okay - because God's power and awesomeness and holiness and majesty are made manifest in our weakness. He doesn't want us to be perfect, He wants us to be willing. He doesn't need perfect, He simply wants US, in all our weakness and fear and trembling and inadequacy.
Wow. Isn't that wonderful?