Incompetence at its Finest

Someone once told me we see God with utmost clarity when we are at our lowest point. To which I’ve always said ‘Thank God’.

Thank You, Lord, for showing up, especially when we need You most.

But the stubborn bone in me has always tried to prove that’s not the only time we can see Him vividly.

To no avail.

When I lost my child, I plummeted hard. When I laid flat in the sea of grief, He wrapped His loving arms around me like a life preserver. When I would convince myself it was all my fault, He would wipe my eyes and let me see the writing on the wall being erased. And when I finally found my footing and thanked Him for getting me there. For saving me, He said as clear as crystal:

It doesn’t have to end.
Our time together.
I’m willing to save you every day.

And I’m starting to understand what He meant. I’m starting to realize what was causing me from having this close relationship before. I’m starting to see He’s there in the high points, dry points, plateau points, too.

So, what holds us back from seeing His redeeming love, overwhelming grace, and unjustified mercy most vividly?

Adam, Eve, Noah, Moses, Jonah, Esther, Rahab, and especially David provided clues. Jesus gave us the key. Peter finally figured it out after he did the unthinkable. Saul learned it the hard way, too, and then while living it out as Paul, shared the secret with us.

Have you figured it out?

I’ve read about these men and women of faith for years and missed it all this time. And to think, it was the faith part that made me blind to reality.

Friends, it’s not how big your faith is that makes you see Him clearly. It’s your realization of how much you need Him that brings His love, grace, and mercy into view.

Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best
in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ can work through me.
That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the
insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT

I’ve lived my life like I have had something to prove. Almost as if I was trying to show I was worth the debt Jesus paid for me. When the truth of it is, none of us are.

Fact is, I’m entirely incapable of living the life God has willed for me alone.

I’m not made to be self-sufficient. My brain is not wired to have all the answers. Being flawless is impossible for me. I’m soiled in sin. Saturated with doubt. And can easily become lost in the blur of choices.

Friends, I’m a prime example of how capable God is to make something out of nothing. His grace upon my life shines brightly among my dirty imperfections.

I’m designed to be incompetent. Like a child. And it’s about time I accept it. Because when I do, I receive the solution and see Him in ways I could never imagine on my own.

And that, I’m finding is the secret. It’s as simple as accepting yourself for what you are. Standing in front of Him every day saying plainly, “Here I am, Lord. Here’s all of me. I’ve got nothing to offer, but that’s nothing Your grace can’t fix…With You, the possibilities are endless. Work Your wonder.”

Do we really have something to prove as Christians? Nah. We have something to give.

Our weakness shows His power.
Our troubles show His redeeming grace.

So accept yourself for what you are
and take the handout of grace He freely gives.
Then, share it for His glory.

Yes. I’m a mess without Him. I’m nothing spectacular by myself. And I’d have it no other way.

Father, I humbly take You up on Your offer.
Thank You for making something out of nothing in me.
Every day.

Now I’m simply waiting for someone to tell me. Say to me we see God most vividly when we are at our lowest point. So I can agree with them and say, “Oh yes. That’s why I bend low every day….”

How about you, friend? Have you learned this lesson yet? Do you see God in your everyday? What does He look like to you? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,


NOTE: This is part of my Back-to-the-Basics Redemption series. You may find other posts HERE.

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53 thoughts on “Incompetence at its Finest

  1. This is the gospel truth…the incredible truth you’ve shared so well here, which is why I tweeted it…it is our need for a Savior that brings us into a relationship with Jesus, and we continue to need Him to live a life like Him…it is the abiding in Him…the branch (us) can do nothing apart from the Vine (Jesus) – John 15:5…in Him is the life we need…such grace in abiding…love and prayers to you, Nikki 🙂

  2. Again, such beautiful and heartfelt words that speak the Truth so eloquently.

    I am learning everyday to see Him, whether it be in His marvelous creation, a smile on one of my children’s faces or in the strength He gives me to get through mundane or difficult tasks. I believe we are all “works in progress” and what a wonderful journey it is to become closer and closer to our Lord.

    Thank you for such an inspiring post. May God bless you always, friend! 🙂

    • It is a learning process, isn’t it. And I’m thrilled to still be learning — otherwise where would the adventure of life be? So blessed He continues to work on me. . . And I’m with you on this one, friend. Learning every day to see Him. In every medium He uses. What a journey it is indeed!

      Thank you so much for sharing with me. So blessed by you. 😉

  3. Yes, it is only when we are broken and completely dependent on Him that we see Him clearly. I am slowly learning to become more like a child in my faith and resting in the love of my Father. This is especially hard for me considering my childhood.

    Thank you for sharing your heart so openly. Praying for Him to keep drawing us closer to Himself… every day!

    • I’ll join you in this prayer, Kelli. That He would continue to draw us closer to Him. Still blows my mind He’d even want to. So I’ll take Him up on it while He’s offering!
      And we’ll have to sit down one day and delve into this childhood business if you’re willing. I would be honored to know what you have overcome for His glory…if you’re able to share.

      So grateful for you stopping by. Thank you! Will be over to your place again soon.

      • Oh, He is still working on this beautiful messy soul. At 31 I can just now feel Him reaching into my past with His mercy and grace, healing the wounds that have been left untreated for so many years. Praise God 😉

        I have been praying about sharing my story, my testimony of God’s amazing grace in my life. I would definitely be willing to share. .

        • So glad you are brave enough to share the story God has given you. I do want to hear what He pulled you from. How he grabbed hold of your heart. What that makes you feel like today. Girl, this conversation is not over between us. We can move it to email or I can be patient until you’re willing to share it on your blog. You let me know!

  4. I have had seasons in my life I count as precious because I was laid low and found Jesus there to lift my head. Yes, we can humble ourselves beneath his mighty hand when things are running smoothly, and I agree, this is how we need to approach him in order to find him, to find right perspective, etc. But, I do know those times I felt smacked down by circumstances or by the hurt caused by others, they are especially tender because Jesus met me.

    • Oh, yes. Tender indeed. I don’t want to take those moments away. I am simply hoping we can have more of them in different methods. For I am certain the tenderness lies even on the mountain top if we know how to look… I don’t have any proof yet, mind you…just striving.

      Thanks for stopping by today, Alyssa. Always am blessed by your thoughts. Thank you.

  5. Thank you Nikki for allowing the Holy Spirit to express such words of wisdom through your post.I too have experienced times when I was so low that only God in His unfailing love was able to lift me up and help me to understand all the while drawing me closer to Him. I praise Him for His grace which He freely lavishes on us. To God be the glory!

    • Joy, you said it all in your comment — what it took me to say in this entire post. So much wisdom behind your eyes! Thanks for sharing some with me. always blessed by you. thank you. To God be the glory indeed!

  6. Designed to be incompetent — love that! It is so freeing to know I can’t do it on my own; I need Him. My prayer is be glorified, let YOUR power be made evident in my weakness.

    Nikki, thanks for these words. True refreshment.

    • It is freeing, isn’t it?!? What an upside down kingdom this is, Jamie. Incompetence is where it’s at! I love your prayer and prayed that with you. Thank you so much for sharing. Hugs to you, friend!

  7. I never thought of it the way you wrote it out – Do we have something to prove as Christians? Nah, we have something to give. That was a WONDERFUL statement…
    I’m so sorry for all that you have gone through. The grief of losing a child, the sea of despair.
    One thing I know for sure is that you have spoken to this heart of mine and I pray that our Heavenly Father will reward you for that.
    Patty from

    • Oh, We all have our stories to share, wouldn’t you say, Patty? thank you for your sympathies. But know I’m not sorry for my hurts. They’ve helped shape me and I’m honored He is still willing to mold a lump of clay like me. Growing is painful. But I’m striving to share the rewards of them. So thankful you stopped by so we could spend some time together today, Patty. Thank you so much! To God be the glory… I’ll be visiting your place real soon.

  8. It always strikes me how Jesus referred to the disciples as those with little faith. And they were in His presence all the time! It shows me that He does great things through us, even with weak and imperfect faith. We have to be emptied before we can be filled. Wonderful, truth filled post. Love it!

    • We are soul sisters, I’m sure of it, Christina! I’m amazed by that, too! those silly disciples. It sure shows my arrogance when I start to think I could have done their role better. ; )
      It really is about becoming less so He can be more, isn’t it. I’m learning that’s all it really boils down to…

  9. I certainly realize how much I need Him! I’m probably the neediest child He has … Your post made me think of that old song, “Without Him.” Without Him, I could do nothing .. Without Him I’d surely fail!

    • Oh, Jerralea. How I love your heart. “I’m probably the neediest child He has” I hope and pray we all know Him and see Him as well as you do so we can all say that. For I believe we should all feel that way. Because we are, indeed, the neediest of the needy. And I had to look up that old song–so thankful for you bringing it to my attention! Thank you! wow do you bless me!!

  10. Oops, Entered the above comment too soon; I meant to say that is exactly how I feel about my life too.

    I found your blog here through the comment you posted on my blog earlier. I have to say, I’m really glad I did start blogging because I’m connecting with a lot of great encouragement through other bloggers this way.

    • You know, I LOVE how your one comment states plainly “His grace upon my life shines brightly among my dirty imperfections.” I love that. and really, that says it all. don’t you think?
      I’m so glad you stopped by today. thank you for spending time with me. I’m with you. I started blogging about 8 months ago and am blown away every day how it blesses me more than it blesses anyone else.
      All for Him with hugs to you,

  11. I love the verse ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ I think for me it’s not so much ‘seeing’ or experiencing God at those times (cos sometimes when I’m low God feels very distant), but with you on the knowing we need Him as being so significant. One of my favourite songs is by Vicky Beeching, and the chorus simply goes:
    ‘I am needing you
    and I’ll be needing you a lifetime long
    I am needing you
    As I offer up this fragile song
    In my weakness you are strong.’

    This made me think of that!

    • I am so thankful you shared that song with me today, Tanya. Thank you so much!!! I love it. I see what you’re saying about God feeling distant in times of hurt. I guess for me, utter desperation bring simplistic clarity as I know He is my only hope. But that simple truth is the same today as it is when I am at my worst. That’s what I’m striving to cling to. hope my ramblings makes sense.

      So thankful you stopped by and shared with me — you have no idea how much you blessed me. Thank you!!

  12. it is your realization of how much you need him…could not agree with you more…when things are going great we can slip into the false illusion that we do not need him…but at the end of our rope we realize our true desperation…

  13. I’m so glad that Christ meets us at our lowest point because I seem to find myself falling a whole lot more than staying in an upright position! 🙂 Thanks for your beautiful reminder here, Nikki!

  14. Oh girl, I think you are in my head! For so long, I thought salvation was free, but now that I’ve got it, I sure better prove myself worthy. I’m slowly realizing that I’m never gonna be able to do that. And I need to just chill. out. When I finally admit that I can’t do one single thing without him and anything I thought I did before was just by his grace, then we can get somewhere.

    Thanks for linking up!! 🙂

    Mary Beth

    • We are kindred on this one, Mary Beth! Finally, we’re getting somewhere 😉

      Was so blessed to find you last week and learn of your link up today. I LOVE it! Thanks for letting me participate. now, go put your feet in the sand!

  15. wow, this is SO freeing! thank you!!! the whole part about living as though we have something to prove–that really convicted me. why can’t i just be free? bless you friend.

  16. These words pierce my heart. I need Him…I NEED Him. I NEED HIM! Some days, I think I don’t . But oh I do. In and of myself I can do no good thing. Some days I look at my weaknesses — my inability to love Him rightly, my busyness, my rushing through live without looking upon His beauty, I look at these things and think how can I ever truly see Him? I am so thankful that He sees into the depth of my heart and soul. I am so thankful that He hears my small, weak, insignificant yes. And that is enough for Him. Love you my friend!

    • Oh, girl. You are describing my post this coming Tuesday — this realizing of how much I need Him transforming in a need to Know Him. And I’m not sharing that for a plug in. just want you to know your heart beats like mine. You are so right. even my weak yes is enough for Him… Always blessed by you, friend. Love you (and am so bummed I’m don’t have it all together to link up today! ack!)

  17. Nikki, your words have given even this great-grandma comfort today. I am never going to be a completed work . . . I’m always learning, growing, seeking, hopefully finding, needing. My need for Him is the greatest of gifts, I believe, among all the gifts He has given me. To need Him is to be wanting Him more strongly when I’m incredibly low in life, and it has happened. Many surgeries, chronic illnesses, losses . . . they all bring you to a place where needing Him is clarified by the messes we are in. Thanks so much for reminding me to be open and aware of Him daily! You’re a gem!

    • Sherrey–I love this: My need for Him is the greatest of gifts….I’m going to have to chew on this this week. So blessed to have you share your wisdom with me, friend. Thank you so much. And you’re right. Our troubles bring clarity where it’s needed most… Hugs to you, friend!

  18. Popped over from Kris’s…I am finding a good relationship takes time to grow…my marriage with my husband is so much better at 31 years than even 21 years…we are one…resting and trusting in each others love. I think our love relationship with the Lover of our Souls is the same too…over time…years of ups and downs…we begin to rest…truly rest in His love for us…and the highs and lows of life are more steady in His arms. have a great weekend…blessings~

  19. Ahhh. Nikki. You KNEW I needed to read this today, I’m sure of it. We don’t need to prove only give- this thought sits heavy in my heart (in a good, refining way) We walk this path side-by-side these days, you and me, and I just want to reach out and hold your hand–I know I’m not there yet, God help me, i’m making my way as He makes the way before me…. thank you so much for this beautiful, freeing word, and the grace to link up and support me today (and each day!) You have no idea how it blessed me!! Love you.

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