He Makes Me Perfect

By Marcy Barthelette

He said to me, “My grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So, I am very happy to brag about how weak I am. Then Christ’s power can rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12: 9 (NIRV)

I have two illustrations to share that may, at first, seem to contradict one another, but hang in there with me and let’s see if we can find a point in all of this.

A short while back, I had a hankering for a bowl of fresh, hot popcorn after supper. Ken, however, went to the kitchen and made himself a chocolate sundae. We’ve learned to read each other pretty well and that sundae signaled to me that he didn’t intend to have popcorn that evening so I found some kind of unsatisfying snack, ate it, and settled in for some reading and maybe a little TV. An hour or so later, Ken went back into the kitchen and I heard cellophane rattling. He was opening a bag of microwave popcorn. I lost it and went on a tear. “How could you do this to me. I’ve already had my snack and you had a sundae. Now you’re making popcorn when I can’t eat another thing! Didn’t you know how I was craving popcorn?” I went on and on while he stood there staring at me as if I were a crazed woman and then I realized that I pretty much was. We both started laughing so hard we couldn’t stop. We spent the rest of the evening laughing and cracking jokes about how silly I was. Laughing at ourselves is really great therapy.

I probably should explain that, while Ken and I have many things in common, there is one very stark difference between us. I am a morning person, and he is a night owl, a trait he has been able to indulge since retirement. Most of the time I’m tolerant of our differing body clocks and for portions of our days, we live in our own little worlds. I eat breakfast before he gets up and by the time his breakfast is finished, I’m looking for snacks. We have two actual meals each day, one apart and one together. Our dinner is a late afternoon affair leaving a lengthy period of time to find ourselves exploring the kitchen’s resources before my bedtime. I will typically indulge in one small snack early in the evening. He, however, continues to nibble. He’s quite the snacker! He may browse all evening and eat the equivalent of a sundae and a big bowl of popcorn, but that night, he did the unthinkable and ate both his favorites. It just struck me wrong! Of course, these days COVID has taken all our plans and tossed them in the trash so there is absolutely no reason for him not to indulge his night owl habits. While I slept, he would be awake for hours still, with plenty of time to “work off” those calories. Hence, the absurd hilarity of our snacking incident.

On the flip side of this coin, I recently read a story that has popped up in several places since my first encounter. It deals with a wate

r bearer in days of old who carried two large pots to gather water each day for household use. One pot was perfect and the other had a crack down its side. The perfect pot always delivered a full load, but the cracked pot leaked half its contents every trip. After a couple of years, the cracked pot could no longer tolerate its frustration at being so imperfect and therefore cheating its master of a full ration. So, it admitted its flaw to the water bearer, who immediately put its frustration to rest. You see, he had known about the crack all along and so he had planted flower seed along the trail on the side where the cracked pot always swung. A lovely swath of blooms gave life and color to the side where the cracked pot had spilled its contents.

In examining these two stories, one might be inclined to say that my behavior was rude and uncaring while the cracked pot felt shame over its inability to perform its task as expected. I would submit that we both were flawed, but because I had been filled with love for God and for my husband, God was able to turn my flaw, or that crack in my side if you will, from frustration into laughter. The pots story speaks for itself. In both situations during a moment of weakness, God provided His own brand of perfection.

These two little tales define eloquently how God transforms all our flaws into lovely surprises that further His kingdom. Through God’s never-ending love, Ken and I were able to turn the frustration of a pandemic into laughter. Just as the imperfect pot unknowingly watered the flowers that graced the master’s table, so can we shower nourishment upon those around us. Think of yourself as a water barrel, open wide at the top to capture all that the Holy Spirit can pour into you. Don’t worry about that crack down your side. It will allow Living Water to pour itself on fertile ground that God has already sprinkled with seeds just bursting to sprout.

When He calls us to a task that we feel is beyond our limits to accomplish, we shouldn’t fear defeat. He will provide the tools and skills we need to get the job done. Who but God c

ould pull off such a magnificent miracle as that? In our weakness, He makes us the perfect vessel.

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Mark Batterson

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