A Lesson in a Bowl of Soup

It was a chilly December evening at Pensacola Christian College. I strolled up and down the lines at the Four Winds, weighing my options as if my choice would hold some lasting significance in my life. I kept gravitating back toward the soup bar and finally settled on a bowl of creamy tomato soup. I ladled with one hand and snatched three napkins and a spoon with the other hand in one sweeping gesture, balancing an apple on the lip of my bowl. Yeah, I was kind of the picture of efficiency. As I weaved in between other groups eating on my way to my table, a table of friends smiled and waved. I smiled and waved back. A girl I didn’t know complimented my shoes. A friend at the coffee machine asked if I was eating with anyone. I sweetly replied that I was, but we’d have to do lunch sometime, and how was her great-Aunt Matilda-who-had-the-hip-surgery doing anyway?

I crept around a heavily occupied six-seater—a tight squeeze. Suddenly, and before I could say “help” or “somebody give me a hand” or “nobody look!” or pretty much anything else, I stumbled and fell! My feet flew out from under me and my bowl flew out in front of me and my soup flew right into me and my spoon flew out behind me and my dignity flew away too, probably forever, and everyone’s eyes flew right in my general direction. Basically, there was a lot of flying going on. Not exactly my “peak of the week” sort of deal. Some kind soul I didn’t know helped me to collect my things and walk to the dish return. Well, she walked. I sort of crawled— a humiliated, tomato-y mess. But do you know something? I wouldn’t have had it go any other way on that chilly December evening.

It was embarrassing; it was unpleasant; it was humbling; it was…well…kind of funny now that I think about it. But I think that the Lord, in His mercy, has a gentle way of putting us in our place every once in a while. If you are His child, He will undoubtedly use you, but He will also bring you to a place where you are usable. In our weakness...in our failures and feelings of inadequacy, He then uses us because it is in those moments of weakness that His glory and His strength shine through clearest—not in the moments when we are stifling His presence with our egos. And that is the real beauty of following Christ, isn’t it? God is not looking for perfect people—He is looking for usable people. Now maybe you aren’t falling all over the place like I did. But wherever you are right now and whatever you’re dealing with, whether it be grades or future decisions or other circumstances, remember that we serve a God much bigger than circumstance Who, in the very moments where we feel only small and weak, is desiring to do mighty things in and through our lives.

4 Responses

  1. Chrissy Whetson

    Amen sister! 😉 That is encouraging. Right now as I sit at home I have been praying about what God wants me to do. I know God has a plan for my life that I don’t understand… I may not be able to come back this semester because God has something for me to do here at home. Every time I think about this Isaiah 26:3 comes to mind. ” Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee.” See you next semester! God is good ALL the time! 😉

  2. Ariel Enriquez

    I really like your blog Anna Grace. It is very encouraging. Sometimes I wonder how can God use a person like me accomplish His purpose? But He can use me to do succeed in His will. I have been praying that God will help me to continue to do His will in my life.

  3. Jonathan Abel

    It sounds like you had a rough semester of falls. I remember you were in crutches for a few days too! God does use us in our weakness! As many know, last year God brought me down low to the dust, and I wasn’t even able to finish the school year. It taught me to give thanks even in everything, and has given me an abundance of thankfulness for the opportunity to return this time for my first Spring semester! Thanks for this post Anna Grace.

  4. Josh Stasko

    LoL! This is well written! I love the style – very visual, clever and funny. Good job. Nice applications too 😉

Leave a comment