A few weeks ago we were about host a new small group at our house. We had frantically cleaned the day of, of course. You know, where you power clean. Turn on your hustle. Everyone chips in. Everyone starts picking up their belongings, and for the most part returns it to where it belongs. Then you take the pile of leftover I-don’t-know-where-to-put-this and shove it in the closet. We were hoping these new friends did not want a tour. Bonus points for us, we swept the porch!
However, we had overlooked the front and backyards. The front yard had 3 foot weeds sprouting from every corner. When was the last time we mowed? I couldn’t pass these “flowers” (really weeds in disguise) as landscaping. They were obvious. The backyard looked like we scattered Easter eggs a season, too, early. The “eggs” being plastic toy food. Some of which had been hit with the mower (the last time we mowed) and dispersed shards of colorful plastic. We had to make a decision. Clean up the yards or leave it? We were running out of time!
As my husband were deliberating our options, the Holy Spirit swept over my thoughts and inserted this truth: “Why do you care about your weeds now?” Great question. Why do I all of a sudden care about the state of our yards? Our neighbors have had the unfortunate sight of our yard for weeks. Why did it matter so much now?
Honestly, because I am a perfectionist. I wanted everything to be “just right” when our new friends arrived. I wanted them to be impressed by our home. I wanted them to be impressed by us. Here is the unfortunate part, we put more energy is creating an unrealistic environment. Instead, we could have spent that time praying and preparing our hearts for small group. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have tidied up and made our home presentable. The environment does impact people experiencing the presence of God. What I mean is, we allowed the Enemy to make us feel like we had to present ourselves different or better than what we are, so we could be accepted.
Unfortunately, this happens in several different circumstances, not just in preparations for small group. It can happen in the workplace, relationships, school, play groups, and even church. The Enemy forces us to believe we are not good enough.
But the Lord says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9, NIV).
This says that God IS enough. The grace He offers covers everything. Every sin. Every self-deprecating thought. Every shortcoming. Not only does it cover us, God shines through it. When we come short, it is God’s opportunity to show the world just how mighty He is. Our weaknesses are a beautiful thing. The tall weeds and toy-infested yard shows that we are imperfect. Our family may not have it all together, but it’s the Lord that holds us together. That is environment we want to create.