When my kids were little, they loved to catch lizards. Living in Arizona, we’d come across a slithering “Lizzy” nearly every time we went outside.
One morning, my daughter rescued a 2-inch-long baby lizard in our backyard. She tenderly placed it into a large Tupperware container and set it on the edge of the patio table in the sunlight.
My 3-year-old son, Nathan, who moved only at the speed of light but without the same level of precision, accidentally knocked over the container. In a frantic attempt to grab the baby lizard, he stepped on it, crushing it instantly. Off he ran, sobbing, and he hid under the bed in his room, fearing the wrath of his big sister.
About a week later, I went into Nathan’s room to put his laundry away. When I opened his sock drawer, I immediately reeled from a horrific odor. What in the world was buried underneath those Superman socks? I spread them around and discovered a neatly folded paper towel with something inside: squashed Lizzy.
“I thought maybe if we could bury Lizzy, Sissy might not be so mad,” he explained. “I wanted her to know I’m really sorry.” But when you’re 3 years old, sometimes you forget your well-intentioned plans. And then Lizzy rots in your sock drawer.
Nathan initially responded to fear over his mistake by running away. Then he hid that fear in his sock drawer, intending to deal with it later. I have that same tendency. More than I’d like to admit. When I make mistakes, I fear rejection, so I withdraw and hide or try to bury my weaknesses, concealing them from everyone. I want people to see only the shiny, tidy parts of my life and not my messes and mistakes.
Moses did the same thing. He tried to deliver his people, the Israelites, from Egypt in his own strength and ended up murdering an Egyptian. He ran away to Midian out of fear, hoping to bury his mistake. But God did not leave Moses there. He appeared to Moses in the burning bush and invited him to believe in the God of grace. God offered Moses a do-over.
Moses insisted he had too many weaknesses for God to do anything with his life, as we see in our key verse:
“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ And God said, ‘I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain’” (Exodus 3:11-12).
God invited Moses to believe that the limitless power of His presence could overcome all that Moses lacked.
When I mess up as a mom, regret something I’ve said to my spouse, fail to be there for my friend in her moment of need or miss a deadline at work, my default is to run away and hide. I want to figure out how to bury that moment in my sock drawer so no one will see it, and I hope it will just go away.
But God’s plans for my kids, spouse, friends and coworkers do not depend on my performance. They rest on God’s promises. All of my weaknesses? They are actually invitations for the power of God to be on display. I don’t need to hide them; I need to release them into God’s almighty hands.
So when your weaknesses make you feel like you’re not enough, don’t hide them in your sock drawer. Offer them to God … and then let God be enough.
God, please forgive me when I get so busy citing all of my limitations that I forget Your limitless power. Help me take great comfort in Your presence that is always with me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
2 Corinthians 12:9, “…‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (ESV)
What mistake have you made that you need to surrender to God rather than keeping it buried?
What types of circumstances cause you to flee because you prefer not to deal with them, and how can you trust God more in these circumstances?