“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.“(1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
“Why didn’t God send somebody better to do this job?” I think that’s the question that most pastors and church leaders ask themselves at one time or another. When God chose to plant a Vietnamese refugee church using my husband and me, it was super obvious that, humanly speaking, we were not the best people for the job. My husband was a first-year seminary student with a very thick accent. I was only 22, a full-time grad student with a number of medical problems. We had no time, we had no money, and we had very little experience in the kind of work we were about to do. Anyone could look at us and say, “You call them missionaries?! Are you crazy?” In fact, quite a few people did!
You might be in a similar boat. Oh, you might not be urban missionaries—but maybe you’re starting to serve as a caregiver for someone disabled or sick. Maybe you are trying to help a friend in trouble and you don’t know how. Maybe you’re raising children—or coaching an employee, or figuring out what to do about a problem in the family. Whatever it is, you can see all the reasons why you are the wrong person for the job—and yet, God put you there anyway.
The strange thing is how often God takes those weaknesses and turns them into a blessing. The weaknesses are real, yes—and the people around us often see them as clearly as we do. But the good thing is, the message of the Gospel shines through even more clearly when it’s obvious that the messengers are ordinary people just like everybody else. It’s hard to idolize someone when they have a final exam in the morning, or are bleary-eyed from being up all night with a newborn! But it’s easy to see God working through people who clearly have no special gifts of their own—only Jesus.
I think this is why Jesus chose so many fishermen for His disciples—just ordinary people. I think this is why He chose you and me. Through us He can show the world the love that drove Him to suffer and die on the cross—yes, and to rise again, and share that everlasting life with us who trust Him. God’s power shines best through the weak.
Prayer: Dear Lord, make my weaknesses a testimony to Your love and power. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on February 1, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. What is one weakness of yours God has used for good?
2. What is a job or task God has given you that you feel unqualified for?
3. How do you rely on the Holy Spirit to get you through it?