A “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree” Life
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. —2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Each year in the mall near our home, a Christmas tree looms high above the department stores as a decoration and focal point for holiday celebrations. It is breathtaking. Of course, this tree gets a lot of help. In fact, to make sure the tree looks perfect and even from all sides, existing branches are cut off, extra ones are collected, and each branch is cut and trimmed. Then, holes are drilled in the tree trunk and extra branches are placed in just the right spots. The tree is made to look flawless.
When I think about the Christmas season and the message of Christ, this mall has it all wrong. I think God looks at us more like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. You know the one I mean. A tree that is far from perfect: skimpy, left behind and unwanted. It’s a tree that has lots of gaps in the branches and need extra help getting decorated.
God demonstrated his power in mighty ways through the Apostle Paul. Today’s Scripture records Paul’s requests to God to remove the afflictions he was facing, but God chose not to do so. God demonstrated His incredible power through Paul by working through Him even in the midst of His weaknesses. It is also these weaknesses that reminded Paul to rely on the Lord, for he knew he could not succeed without the power of God in his life.
It is tempting to rely on our own strength or think we can do everything on our own based on the talents, energy and effort we give to something. However, God wants us to realize instead that we need to rely on Him to be our strength. When we rely on Him, we will not only find ourselves stronger, but we will also continue to grow and move to deeper Christian character when we allow God’s strength to work in us. So when you face situations that are difficult and challenging, be encouraged. God will make His power perfect in you…just as you are, with flaws and all.
1. In your life, what do you try to do to hide your weaknesses so you can appear perfect?
2. How have you seen the Lord work through your weaknesses and show His incredible strength?