I think as moms or women (or humans in general), we often doubt are own abilities or put ourselves down. Recently, I was talking with and amazingly talented friend who had just literally dug and carved out something like ten stairs stairs from a hill in her backyard. She dug large boulders out of the yard and stacked them to be the edge of the stairs then added pea gravel to ensure that the dirt on the stairs would not become slippery when wet. She did all of this by HERSELF while watching her two children. I was amazed that she could make those stairs by herself as it truly was a monumental task and when I complemented her all she could focus on were the loose rocks or other flaws in the design. I saw such impressive work, yet she just saw imperfections. I chided her to focus on what she had accomplished instead of minimizing the work that she did, yet it seemed ingrained in her to fail to recognize the gifts and talents that God had given her.
On Sunday, we heard a sermon about how Jesus called the 12 disciples to feed a hungry crowd of four thousand. The crowd had been following Jesus for three days with nothing to eat which means that they were super-duper hungry. Jesus told the disciples to feed them and he equipped them to do so. He didn’t ask them to manufacture food out of nothing–they were equipped with some small loaves of bread and a few fishes. I am sure that they all doubted themselves and wondered how they would be able to feed all those hungry and I am guessing fussy and complaining people. Although the disciples may have doubted their own skills and abilities, they were invited in by Jesus and then issued a challenge to them. As they took the step of faith to follow Jesus’ challenge, he equipped them to provide food for all four thousand people and not just a little food–they ate until all those very ravenously hungry people were fully satisfied and there were seven baskets of the broken pieces left over! Jesus challenged the disciples to do His will and when they stepped out in faith, he equipped them to do the job that He had called them to do.
Like my friend who couldn’t recognize the value of the job that she did creating stairs so that her family and friends could be safe climbing down the steep,slippery hill, I often fail to realize the value of the gifts that God has given me. He made me with specific gifts and talents to do His will and help to change this world for Him. He has equipped me specifically for the tasks that He has called me to do. Yesterday after already beginning this blog, I faced a moment of doubt of my own. After the criticism of a hurting person, I wondered if I was equipped to continue to lead a ministry that I have led for the past two years. I started to focus on my imperfections and my flaws instead of the work that God has done through this ministry. I realized that this doubt in myself was coming from Satan and not from the Lord and I refused to listen to the lies that he was speaking to my heart. The Lord has called me, equipped me, and asked me to be bold and follow His leading. To help strengthen my resolve and keep my focus away from my flaws, I turned on some music and instead of the song that I meant to play, the song “Meant to Be” by Steven Curtis Chapman blasted through my phone. The lyrics resonated through my heart as I heard God speak to me through the words of this song.
“…For every breath that your taking
And every move that you make
It’s a meaningful life you’ve been given
Live it well
You Were Meant To Be Touching
The Lives That You Touch
And Meant To Be Here
Making This World So Much More
Than It Would Be Without You In It
You Were Meant To Be Bringing
The Gifts That You Bring
And Singing The Songs
You’ve Been Given To Sing
You Are Perfectly, Wonderfully,
Beautifully Meant To Be…”
We are each made with a plan and a purpose. When we listen to the Devil’s lies and deceit, we fail to see all that God has made us to be. He perfectly gifted each of us for our lives here on earth and it is only when we recognize the gifts that He has given us that we can live the life of love and purpose that we were made to and “perfectly, wonderfully, beautifully meant to be”.
Jeremiah 29:11(NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”