Saturday, June 6, 2009

Grace, Behind and Through My Calling...


~Ponder this:

"Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what He's called you to be, pray that He'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with His own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, He will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving Himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving Himself freely."
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, The Message

These verses were salve to my distressed soul today. As much as I hate to admit it, in my quiet moments the past few weeks, I've been stressing over the calling God has given me.  But in this passage, I'm humbled. Not that I was "puffed up" before, but I wasn't depending on His ability to meet my needs.

I've felt inadequate in my calling as a mother, my calling as a wife, my calling as a writer, and some brand new callings as a speaker and short-term missionary.

Lots of tears. Lots of self-pity. Lots of defeated thoughts. All in cycles, in my quiet, private moments with the Lord.

But I've chosen to continue speaking His Words of faith, privately and publicly, because I know them to be true. His promises don't stop being true just because I'm not feeling them true. And all of these thoughts of inadequacy? Well, I'm not happy I gave into them, but it could be that it took me getting to that place in order to bring my will into submission with His.

The truth is, I'm not able to do this mom and domestic thing--IN MY OWN STRENGTH.
I fall short as a wife...really short--IN MY OWN THINKING.
I have so far to go as a writer, and I'm intimidated by others in my field and genre--IN MY OWN ABILITY.
I really question whether I can do the new, out-of-my-comfort-zone ministry stuff--IN MY OWN STRIVING.

Then God gave me these verses when He knew I was fully ready to receive them.

God will make me fit for what He's called me to be. HE will fill my good ideas and acts of faith with His own energy so that it all amounts to something. If my life honors the name of Jesus, He will honor me. Grace is behind and through it all.

Yes, Lord. Thank You. I praise Your name for breaking through my selfish, willful thinking. Let my thoughts revolve around living in Your grace, honoring Your name instead of worrying about "my calling." It's in Your name I pray, Amen.

So, my friends, where are you on this journey? You can share if you like, but feel free just to pause & ponder His Words, taking the time to ask yourself the hard questions. Use my prayer as your own if you wish. I hope that in the end, you & I will choose to constantly depend on this One who gave Himself freely, the One who is faithful to strengthen us according to His will.

16 friends shared a comment:

Catrina Bradley said...

Thank you my dear sister. YES I've been feeling inadequate, not "enough" of whatever I need to be for whatever task is before me at any given moment. This past month has been an extremely difficult one for me. Even tho I "know" the truth, I haven't "felt" the truth. God had to remind me it's not about my feelings, it's about my faith in HIS ability, HIS presence, HIS love, HIS will.

I often wonder if you are inside my head and heart, because you write EXACTLY what I need to hear. You are a blessing.


Connie Arnold said...

Yes, I definitely will pause and ponder. Thank you for sharing the verses, your post and prayer. I'm soaking it all in. Bless you!

Unknown said...

I've been there this week too. Thank you for this, I really needed it. NOT in my own strenght, BUT in HIS! My talents, callings or ministry (in the home and out), are not based on how I feel but on what HE said.

Joanne Sher said...

Oh, yes - feeling SO inadequate. Thank you for reminding me where my adequacy (no - success!) lies, dear La!

Denise said...

I totally understand my friend, love you.

lori said... NEVER! okay, you know the read the Cafe devo from last month...I'm spending a considerable amount of time in the PONDER place....

I understand. I pray exactly that my life honors Jesus..I just feel so UNQUALIFIED....which happens to be THIS months devo..which I had DONE before I read this....

you are soooo not alone:)

love you...

I'll send you the advanced version...


Anonymous said...

{{{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
He will equip you for whatever task He has called you to. Sunny

Laury said...

I've been going on 'feelings' lately, too. Feelings and what is true most always don't team up very nicely. What we feel and what is actually true is not the same, at least not for me, not right now.

Love this post. You always make me stop and ponder. Loves to you Laura.

Dee Yoder said...

I have a day or two when I feel adequate--otherwise, I know I'm not adequate most of the time! What I forget to add to those inadequate thoughts is just what you pointed out: it's OK to know I'm not adequate because HE is. Somehow, I forget that every time. Good thing the Lord has patience and grace for my forgetfulness...and more inportantly: His strength and will and power and knowledge for my woefully inadequate self. Just have to plug in to His power source.

Peter Stone said...

Encouraging post Laura, and I've been in a similar journey lately, thinking of myself and my endeavours as being nothing other than mediocre. Had a very stressful week too, I spent lots of time pouring my heart out to God, and Jesus kept comforting me with, "Let not your heart be troubled, trust in God, trust also in Me." Those words cut through all the mess and strengthened me too.

And here's some verses that He dropped into my lap a week ago.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Job 42:1-2 Then Job answered the LORD and said, "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

Just like you said, it is not about my strength, my thinking, my ability, my striving. Praise God, it is not about me and my abilities at all - but about Him!

Patty Wysong said...

You've been inside my head, sweetie! Wow! I loved this "God will make me fit for what He's called me to be. HE will fill my good ideas and acts of faith with His own energy so that it all amounts to something." I've been clinging to the fact that HE will give me what I need--but His

Thanks so much! Just what I needed for today! Huggles!

Toia said...

I can relate to this. There sometimes where I think that I can't do this or can't do that, but then God's word reminds me that "I can and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us."

Blessings to you for this post!! Happy Sunday!!

Terri Tiffany said...

Thank you for this post. You spoke to my heart with it. I've been struggling with wanting to put together a woman's ministry in my church for people who want to be encouragers and one day I think I can, the next I think I'm an idiot to try. I want to do it through God and not myself.
We all feel like we don't measure up. The scripture you chose reminds me we can do anything if God is in it with us.


Boy did I need this post and Scripture today. I love the Message - not as an everyday tool but just so that on some days God can use it to make His Word practical in my life.

I have been feeling inadequate at many of the same things you listed but mine is more from lack of physical ability [dealing with back and foot pain]. But even in that - God says His grace is sufficient. Paul's 'thorn' was a physical one so why should I complain with mine?

I love the end of the 1st scripture when it just reminds me to seek more of JESUS [Himself] because that's what God offers us freely!!

Beautiful, honest and heartfelt post - thanks for sharing it!

Choosing JOY,
[JESUS - the One I Worship]

Patty Wysong said...

I had to reread this one cuz it's just so good. Thanks so much!
love you!

Karen said...

I have recently felt inadequate to fulfill the calling God has placed on my heart recently. I shared about it on my blog just this morning. Here's the link:

The bottom line - God-sized tasks are just that - God-sized. Only He can accomplish them. We can't do what He calls us to do on our own. And if I tried to do it on my own, I would certainly make a mess of it! I appreciate you sharing this passage with us. It goes right along with what I posted on my blog this morning. I'm going to write that Scripture reference down!

Take care,