I’ve been feeling like I’m in a little over my head this week.
I’m trying to meet needs that seem like they could be met so much better by someone with different gifts and greater wisdom. Yes, I’m the one who’s been given the open door of opportunity, but I don’t feel qualified.
My mind calls up the right verses for encouragement…some of them, anyway. Power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor 12:9). The treasure is contained in earthen vessels (2 Cor 4:7). I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Phil 4:13).
I believe one-hundred-percent in God’s ability to do incredible things through me—things I could never do on my own. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to volunteer to sing on the worship team next week. I know I can’t sing. Someone out there might be blessed by me singing God’s praises into a microphone with my thin, off-key voice, but most people would probably be distracted from their worship and feel pained and embarrassed for me. Sure, God could miraculously give me a powerful and stirring voice, but I’ve no particular reason to think he intends to do that. It makes more sense for folks who have been musically gifted to serve that way.
Sometimes our limitations are just limitations. We stink at it, we can’t pull it off well…and no discernible good comes out of it when we try.
I can tell when I’m intimidated because the side effects start popping up all over my life. When I feel inadequate in one area, I’m far less motivated to shoot for excellence elsewhere. Why bother?—the picture is already smudged anyway. I procrastinate. I’m greedy for distraction. I eat cream cheese frosting right out of the jar. I experience random compulsions to make clothing purchases—(temporary, superficial confidence is better than none at all, right?)
I was kinda feeling that way last night—one step away from grabbing a jar of frosting and a spoon, and checking out apparel on Amazon. But then I happened upon a link to Gungor’s Beautiful Things.
It’s a song I’ve heard on the radio plenty of times, but never paid much attention to. The somewhat unspectacular lyrics and mantra-type-feel of the chorus had just never grabbed me.
But as I listened last night, I was reminded of what God can do…what God does do…what he has been doing my whole life and throughout all of human history.
You make beautiful things…beautiFUL things out of dust.
I began to sing along.
You make beautiful things…
…beautiFUL things out of us!
At some point, my soul took flight on the words, on the truth of God’s intention and ability to orchestrate beauty in and through us. I was singing with all my heart—convinced for the moment that I sounded just like Lisa Gungor.
You make beautiful things…beautiFUL things out of dust! You make beautiful things…beautiFUL things out of us!
So maybe God’s power will be made dramatically manifest in my weakness. Maybe he will supernaturally overcome my ineptitude and I will be amazed as all the right answers (that I don’t know) miraculously spring forth from within me. That would be cool. But maybe I will continue to feel frustrated as I offer myself, aware of the need and aware of my lack. Maybe I won’t see any glorious leaps in the direction I think things should be going.
But you know…beauty has a tendency to grow slowly from the inside out.
Based on my experience with God thus far, it seems most likely that one day I’ll look at this intimidating opportunity and notice that something precious and wonderful has taken place—that God was doing far more with my efforts than I imagined possible. For now, I’ll keep investing what I have—in the expectation of being humbled and amazed when God opens my eyes to the beautiful things he has been making.