“You’ve got this.”
These three words.
Sometimes we just need to hear them. We just want someone to speak this assurance into our hearts.
“You’ve got this.” That’s what I silently told myself the other day as I was scrolling through a bazillion images on Pinterest, Etsy and the like.
Somehow, I have found myself helping to plan a new young mom’s ministry, and helping of all things, to plan the crafts too.
And to my craft-challenged brain, I might as well be studying quantum physics.
But if there has been an ongoing lesson in my life, it’s that God isn’t all that interested in my constant need to feel like I’ve got this.
It’s true, He gives us unique abilities and gifts – whether developed over time or simply inherited – that we should definitely hone and use. As the church, each of us should use our talents and resources to help others, genuinely for His glory.
And it’s a nifty thing when we feel naturally equipped and confident and our abilities line up effortlessly with His calling. Yes, that can be a very beautiful thing.
However, I also know God uses surprising people in surprising ways. He has always been about using the simple to stump the wise, right? He calls us out, not just in our strengths, but in our weaknesses.
As Christians, it’s really hard to get around John 15:5, reminding us that apart from Christ, we can do nothing.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. ~ John 15:5
It’s such a counter-culture sentiment, I know.
And honestly, I still struggle to take this to heart. Often there is this little nagging pride in me that believes it is kind of about me measuring up too. There’s this persistent insecurity that threatens to bog me down.
And so serving in ways that might highlight my weaknesses?
It’s not what I ever signed up for.
But then, I am reminded that God has never been intimidated by the seemingly disqualified. He doesn’t choose people the way we do – we who are so easily enamored with the exterior of a person. He doesn’t just look at what someone can do, but what He can do through them.
Just think of these people.
Abraham thought he was too old. Jeremiah felt he was too young. Elijah struggled with depressive thoughts and suicide. Moses was introverted and lacked eloquence of speech. Gideon battled anxiety. Samson had issues with anger. Rahab was a prostitute. Naomi was a bitter widow. Martha was a worrier and a control freak. The apostles didn’t come from places of high status (I once heard them referred to as the “nobodies” of society). Thomas doubted Christ. Paul had a horrific, unthinkable past.
But God accomplished great things through them anyway.
It’s not that we aim to be weak, broken and flawed, it’s just that the reality is, we are.
So maybe it’s a good and necessary thing to feel out of our element, to admit others can do things better, to sit for a while in our unimpressiveness, to face our depravity, to experience failure at times – because it helps us to be humble and dependent and real about who we are.
You know, I’m beginning to think one of the easiest temptations out there in ministry, in both times of harvest and times of discouragement, is believing that the effectiveness of God’s work is dependent on us being capable.
While there’s a very real place for qualifications, preparation and faithfulness … at the end of the day? When it’s all said and done? There is such sweet rest in knowing He is in charge of the results – and that the fruit of God’s work has always been ultimately because He is God.
And so I sit here, with a blank brain, scrolling through craft ideas, knowing full well I’m out of my league. While putting together a few crafts is not a big deal in the whole scheme of life’s callings, I know there have been bigger hurdles in the past and more to come.
So I have to remind myself the goal of my life isn’t to impress everyone (because believe me, I won’t). The goal is to keep abiding, trusting, and obeying God in my strengths and weaknesses.
God will call us to do things, to go places, to love others in the very season when we feel we can’t do any of it well.
Yet, there’s so much freedom in that. There’s a lot of grace in that.
While it’s great when we can say with self-confidence, “I’ve got this.”
It’s a thousand times greater when we can say in faith, “I don’t have this, but my God does.”
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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9