I chose the wrong paint color for the Fellowship Hall at church.
We had set aside an entire day to get the job done. We had been advertising and recruiting help for several months in advance. We spent a good amount of money on multiple gallons of paint. We prepped the entire area. The first coat went on and it was awful.
I mean, awful.
My face was as horribly white as the walls, my stomach was instantly in knots, I was panicking.
How could I have done this? They’re going to be so mad. They trusted me and I’ve totally failed them. I should just quit. I shouldn’t have volunteered for this. I am worthless.
Yes, those were the thoughts going through my head.
Overreact much, Jen??
It all turned out fine. The wrong paint color ended up to be the perfect primer for the right paint color (which my friend graciously ran to pick up). It all got done on time and it looks great. But I still find myself cringing inside when I think about that mistake. It honestly will wake me up in the middle of the night. This silly little mess up that actually turned out fine. I have been asking God why. Why do I struggle so deeply with my own mistakes? I’m not a perfectionist by any means. I’m not an achiever kind of person. As I was driving home from the gym today thinking about this hang-up, I realized it’s because I would like to be adequate. I would like to be sufficient and enough and certainly not needy.
Needy people need grace.
Needy people need forgiveness.
Needy people need humility.
Needy people need God.
Prayer is one of those practices that reminds us of our dependence on God, of our neediness. I can get tricked into thinking that my talents or abilities are actually enough to stay afloat in ministry. Especially if that works for part of the time. I can even start to believe the wisdom or grace I have to offer those I’m called to serve is coming from myself. Without prayer, without communing with the Creator of the universe, I start to believe I am god of my own little kingdom. That’s why those tiny failures eat away at my heart – because they expose that I am, in fact, not God. I am absolutely dependent upon Him for any goodness, any graciousness, any wisdom found in me. He is the living water that never runs dry. I am a cup that must be constantly refilled. A cup does not produce water for itself, it can only hold what it receives.
Prayer is the action step of believing I’m not God. It’s speaking to the One in charge, the Expert, the Source. When I pray, I’m humbling myself before Someone greater. When I pray, I’m acknowledging that I’m going to fail and make mistakes because I’m helplessly human. And God is neither surprised nor disappointed by my admission of imperfection. He knit me together and has been with me from day one. He knows about my annoying habit of starting books and not finishing them, or that I said a swear word when I dropped a gallon of milk in the parking lot, or that I chose the wrong paint color for the Fellowship Hall. He knows it and doesn’t hold it against me.
Mistakes are not always sins, but pride is. When my mistakes become a sticking point of shame and embarrassment, I’m not living like a forgiven daughter of the King. Instead I’m allowing my value and identity to come from what I do and how I’m perceived by others. I’m allowing pride to become a phony facade to hide behind.
Prayer is a beautiful weapon against that deceptive sin.
Let’s pray when we start to feel too un-needy. Let’s pray to keep ourselves from creating our own pretend kingdoms. Let’s pray to remind ourselves we are not gods.
Let’s pray to honor our amazingly gracious and good true God.
.................. **Due to the personal nature of some of the blog posts, and our desire to share freely with you, the blog portion of our website is limited to pastors’ wives who have registered with us. If you are an existing user, please log in. New users may register below. Before signing up below, go to your email account and add “firstname.lastname@example.org” to your contacts. This way, our emails containing registration info are less likely to go to your spam folder. Fill out the form below and submit. Check your email account for an email from us! Once we approve your registration, you will receive an email with your username and password. You will then be able to access the blog posts.**