As I was getting ready to leave my house this morning, I sat down to put on my shoes. To say I was moving a little slow would have been an understatement. I got the first shoe on and had to take it off to fix my sock. That exact moment, was when I thought of Shelbi.
Shelbi is my sisters youngest daughter, and one of my most favorite people in existence. I lived with them growing up, actually Shelbi and I were room-mates. We shared a room for almost 5 years.(and she never once complained about my snoring!) I still have trouble when people ask how we’re related, because she’s more like a sister than a niece to me.
Anyway, let’s get back on track here. I can remember us getting ready to go to school(or well anywhere really), you always had to tell Shelb at least 20 minutes ahead of time to get her shoes on. It was always a huge fight, the kid would put her shoe on twenty times and remove it to “fix her sock”! We may laugh about it now, but she literally would make us crazy in the mornings. Sometimes, the socks were ok but the shoe rubbed her foot, was too tight, or whatever other excuse she could find to make us want to let her go around like one of The Flintstones.
As y’all know sometimes the funniest things inspire me to write, so here we go! In relation to my faith, Shelbi’s shoes have taught me a lesson today. Sometimes I struggle with wanting to do everything perfectly. I get so caught up in being “good”, that when I come across something that causes me to stumble, I fall hard. I get so angry at myself in those times because I think I’m supposed to be an example of my faith. I have to remind myself of a very hard truth. Just like little Shelbi’s socks, I’m far from perfect.
1 Corinthians 12:9- “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.”
There were days when she wouldn’t get all the wrinkles smoothed out of her socks, and we’d leave the house with her crying. The poor kid either got it fixed or she put her shoes on anyway. Throughout the day her shoes must have done the sock smoothing for her, because when we saw her after school she never mentioned the problem again.
For whatever reason, there will be things in life that we struggle with on a daily basis. No matter how many times we think we’re perfect, there will be instances when we are reminded we are just a lumpy old sock. As a Christian I’m thankful in these times, because my faith is like a shoe that’s smoothing out the wrinkles.
Ephesians 5:25-27- “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
Honestly, I think the writing of this blog is as much for me as it is for you. Just as I was typing out that last scripture, I realized, Gods word is one of the wrinkle smoothers we have readily available. I don’t know about y’all, but every single time I need encouragement I can find it in my bible.
Another one that works better than a bottle of Downy wrinkle remover, is prayer. As in, I talk to God on a daily basis. Most of the time as I’m praying, I realize things I need to change in myself. I don’t know if it’s this way for everyone; but when I’m completely distraught and praying desperately, the answer usually involves a lack in myself that needs worked on. Maybe it’s because I’m so willing to change and grow, but it always seems there’s something that needs smoothing. Instead of just smoothing out the wrinkles, sometimes you need to get new socks.
What do you do when you go out and buy brand new socks, and the problem persists? Occasionally there are those persistent little crinkles in our lives that for whatever reason just keep showing up. When Paul was faced with a so-called “thorn in his side”, he asked the Lord repeatedly to remove it. We see God’s somewhat surprising reply in 2 Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 12:7-9- “or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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.”
What does that mean? God says, “my grace is sufficient.” I’m sure Paul was more than a little confused by this response. God can do anything; and he loves us so much he sent his son, then why doesn’t he fix it instantly when we ask? This is just my opinion on the subject, gleaned from personal experience… When God says His grace is sufficient, he wants us to know he’s got us covered no matter what.
In the midst of a struggle, or in the good times he wants us to look to him. The wrinkles are there to remind us that we are not now, nor will we ever be perfect, except for on the day when we see him face to face. I get it that not everyone believes, but everyone struggles with something. If you think you’re flawless; at some point you’ll have a big let down when you get a little(or a whole lot of) dirt on your nice clean perfection. Me, I’m not even half way to perfect. I won’t let that stop me though. No matter where you are in life, there will always be something you struggle with. You can hide those struggles, and pretend that you are without fault. Or… And that’s a big or, you can choose to live your life in an open and honest fashion, so people around you can learn from your life. Maybe someone will see you experience something similar to their problems, and find a little hope to make it through.
In the words of Joe Dirt, I will, “keep on keepin on!” I hope you do too, wrinkles and all.
P.S. Happy Birthday Shelbi! I think you should wear flip flops today, you don’t wanna deal with all that sock drama on your 21st birthday!!!