Mediocrity and Grace
Dear VICC family,
It’s just so easy to feel like you’re not pulling it off. Whether “it” is something at work, your finances, parenting, a ministry, or just life itself, it’s easy to feel like we are just never accomplishing “it” or doing “it” right. We probably have some image in our head of what “it” is, or what “it” should look like. Then we look at our life, or job, or relationships, or ministry, and whatever it is, it’s not “it.”
I believe this is one of the reasons God gave us the Bible. In Romans 15:4, the apostle Paul tells us, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” We are probably more familiar with his words to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16, where we are told that the Bible has been given us to “teach, rebuke, correct, and train.” And yes, the Scripture has been given us for those things. But we have also been given our Bibles as an encouragement, says Paul, to give us hope.
Of course, the ultimate hope we have been given is an eternity with Jesus. The hope of his second coming, the resurrection and new creation. But I believe the Bible also gives us hope for the present moment. And one of the ways it gives us hope is by telling us stories of how God worked in the lives of his people in the past. For me, that is what our series through the book of Genesis has especially been about. We aren’t learning very much about what we ought to be doing. By way of negative example, we are learning a little about what we shouldn’t be doing. But mostly we are learning about what God is doing, and that’s the most important thing. God is working out his plan, he is redeeming his people and his creation, and he is doing some of the most important bits when it looks the least like anything is happening. Through faith in Jesus Christ we are part of the same story as Jacob and his wives. The redemption story is being told, and even our mediocrity is a part of that story.
We might wish the Bible told us that everything we touch will turn to gold. It doesn’t. But it does tell us, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Sometimes that needs to be enough. By the empowering of God’s Spirit, it can be.
Your partner on the journey,