Puddles or Potholes?

…but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

– II Corinthians 12:9

A five-year-old in rainboots was walking down the street with her parents. It was not a rainy day. She was simply fond of rainboots. It was a town rather like Tipton, with streets rather like Tipton. As her parents tried to steer clear of a large pothole ahead, she headed straight for it. Getting closer, she turned to her dad and step-mom, declaring with triumphant joy, “Look! A place for a puddle!”

Most adults are not as quick to see possibility as children are. We mostly see problems instead. A pothole is a risky place to drive, a bump that might damage a car and will certainly jar its occupants, or a hazard along the road leading to a twisted ankle. A pothole is a problem, not a possibility.

What about you? When you look at the world around you, do you see problems or possibilities? Potholes or puddles? What about when you look at yourself? Do you look and see problems or possibilities? Are you too old or full of experiences? Are you too sensitive or able to easily feel empathy? Are you too demanding or do you have high expectations? Are you too bossy or are you a confident leader? Are you too hurt or are you ready for healing? Potholes or puddles?

Most of us, most of the time, are quick to see problems. We notice the potholes in ourselves and the world around us. Not children like the girl in the story. They notice possibility. They see what could be. As the cliche goes, children see through rose-colored glasses. They see what could be filled, not the emptiness. Puddles, not potholes.

So it is with God. When God looks at you, do you think God sees a whole bunch of flaws and failures? Of course not. God sees possibilities, not problems. Puddles, not potholes. When you see an old wound, God sees a place to fill you with healing. When you see a long-held grudge, God sees a place to fill you with reconciliation. When you see sin, God sees a place to fill you with forgiveness. Puddles, not potholes.

All the things we see as potholes, as problems, as weakness in the words of Paul (II Corinthians 12:9, above), these are what God sees as an opportunity to fill us more fully with the power of God, even with Jesus living in us. Puddles, not potholes.

God of possibility, teach me to look at myself the way you do. Give me eyes to see the work you are doing to make me filled with Jesus Christ. Help me see puddles, not potholes in myself and the world around me. Amen.

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