“I do not fear… I have God. It was for this that I was born.” -Joan of Arc
A while back I attended a women’s retreat with my church. During the weekend we were encouraged to listen for what God was speaking over our next season and to declare that word for our lives. I was pregnant with Finnley at the time and anticipating a transition out of everything I felt qualified to do and into a whole new landscape. I knew I could only prepare so much and that was intimidating. The story of Esther kept coming to mind through that time away and I claimed this truth over my life and future: I might be unqualified on my own. But I have God and in Him, I am equipped for everything He has called me to do and be.
The way I see it, if Esther could risk her life to walk in her calling and up to the king, I can probably count on God to give me what I need to walk in obedience through tomorrow’s thrilling events as a stay at home mom.
If ever there was a woman who found herself in uncharted territory and uncertain future circumstances, it was Esther! I’m guessing that a few years earlier, Esther would not have imagined herself an incognito jewish queen in position to outwit the bad guy and save her people from annihilation. But God wasn’t surprised and I believe He was using every moment leading up to that one to prepare Esther for her calling. It’s no coincidence that the beauty she’d always been known for got her noticed by the king. Or that the favor she walked in helped her stand out from all other women. She displayed wisdom and a teachable spirit that was no doubt learned through earlier life lessons. She was adopted and raised by a family member, Mordecai, when her parents died (and it seems that he did a pretty good job!) One of the most profound examples of stepping in for someone was modeled for her through that experience. So when the time came and he challenged her, “who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” She was ready to step out of comfort and in for her people. The way I see it, if Esther could risk her life to walk in her calling and up to the king, I can probably count on God to give me what I need to walk in obedience through tomorrow’s thrilling events as a stay at home mom.
AND HE WILL FOR YOU TOO! – in your workplace, around the table with the nonbelievers in your family, as you chase the big dreams He’s laid on your heart, or work really hard to do what seems impossible. I love the way Max Lucado says it in his book, Anxious for Nothing: “God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.” He’s in the business of using broken people to bring Him glory. Generations and generations later we’re learning from the best examples of this. God called Abraham and Sarah to the greatest legacy and they said, “BUT I’M too old.” God called Jeremiah to speak and he said, “BUT I’M too young.” God called Moses to lead and he said, “BUT I’M not a good enough speaker.” How often do I answer God’s call, “BUT I’M not enough?”
And to that God says, BUT “I AM.” And “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
I go into most things “unqualified” and I’m learning to embrace that. I used to be paralyzed by a fear of not being good at something on the first try. It’s still a challenge for me and sometimes it keeps me from action and even obedience. The truth is though, you can study all you want, but you just can’t know what you don’t know. And there really is no teacher like the job. We’re all learning as we go. And you know what, some of the most powerful and rewarding experiences I have ever had came from applying to opportunities I was technically unqualified for. I like to think of job descriptions as general, hopeful suggestions. 😉 What I really think is that there’s no harm in the “no’s” and if God wants to place me somewhere, he won’t be held back by the limits of my resume. Or yours! We have a pretty great capacity to grow into an assignment when the CEO is also our personal assistant. And in my experience, it’s the times I’m most unqualified that God reveals Himself in the greatest ways.
if God wants to place me somewhere, He won’t be held back by the limits of my resume.
Earlier this week I met with my bible study group and was blessed, as always, to be in the presence of women who are committed to encouraging each other in their walks with Jesus. SIDE NOTE: Make time for this! Whether it’s a formal group or occasional coffee with someone who holds you accountable and lifts you up, we’ve GOT to gather and “spur one another on toward love and good deeds”! (Hebrews 10:24) ANYWAYS 🙂 As we learned from Lysa TerKeurst’s “Uninvited” study together, my world was ROCKED by the story of Jesus preparing Peter for his new calling as a shepherd of His people. Never mind the fact that Peter had recently denied Jesus multiple times. Jesus invited him to a meal and taught him to leave behind the skills that once made him a great fisherman in order to make room for new growth and capacity. A new season with a new calling required new skills, but Jesus didn’t call him a shepherd and skip out on him. He called out the changes that needed to be made and sat with Peter; equipping him for the new work He was calling him to.
He does this for us too. Your right now circumstances could be the someday moments you point to and say, “God was preparing me for such a time as this.” And if God’s purpose for your life is the big test at the end, consider everything else the homework getting you ready. He really does “cause everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28) So maybe you’re anticipating a new season for which you feel completely ill-equipped, maybe you’re in it right now, or maybe you’re unsure about the purpose of the season you find yourself in; what God’s doing or why He’s doing it. Thankfully, we’re not called to have that figured out. You may never fully arrive at those answers or even a feeling of preparedness – that’s where faith comes in. It’s a commitment to walk in obedience anyways. Ready or not! Let yourself off the hook to strive and abide in Him. Decide that His power is more important than your weakness and the next time you feel, “BUT I’M not enough” remember that God says to you, “but I AM more than enough!”