April 9, 2005


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. [1 Corinthians 2:1-5]

I feel like Paul, a lot more often these days. Not like, "I'm like Paul, the great evangelist: damn I'm awesome!" but more like what he describes about his experiences in Corinth - he was afraid. He was nervous to be proclaiming the gospel. He had a tough time saying what he knew was truth.

I'm like that. I can never say what I really mean; it always seems to come out the wrong way, or I can't think of the right words, or what I'd worked out to say in my head ends up not making sense once I say it ... the list goes on. It's a miracle that I managed to propose to my wife without stumbling over myself - though at this point, I'm pretty sure that it really was a miracle, involving speaking in tongues or something like that - because since then, I've yet to say something to my wife quite as clearly or eloquently.

I wish that I could speak the way I feel I write. When I have the chance to see my words on paper (or on e-paper, as it were), they make so much more sense. They become clearer. Somehow, the chance to edit what I say makes communication possible. For me, anyway. I wish I could speak like I'd already thought of how to say what I want to.

I wish I could talk in pictures.

I know that the sort of telepathy I'd like to have with people isn't going to happen. I mean, it didn't for Paul, and that confuses me. I mean, the guy planted about a million churches and wrote half of the new testament, and he complains that he's not eloquent enough??? I mean, either this guy had insanely high standards, or God really was speaking through his weakness.

That's what I hope happens to me. I hope I have the humility to accept my weaknesses (so far, not so well, but we're working on that), I hope I have the determination to improve, and I hope I have the stamina to continue in what God's got planned. I hope that my fear and trembling make it possible for someone to see Jesus in a way that being cool and well-spoken couldn't possibly allow.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. [Romans 8:26-28]

1 comment:

Laura said...

Yeah! Be YOU! Be weak and scared and let HIM take over!!! I have found in my life that the Spirit most of the time does NOT work in obvious ways. That is in ways obvious to US. He works subtly and yet powerfully through the most "unusual suspects".
I do believe that Paul had been humbled to a degree that most of us can't even understand after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus, and after that He knew...it was the Spirit, NOT him at work. I find I have to constantly get out of His way and stop trying to be someone I'm not, and I suspect I'll continue learning that until he comes to take me home. :-)