The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them... — Arthur C. Clarke
Are you a runner? I don’t mean a half marathon or marathon runner. Rather, are you a person who runs from the slightest feeling of inadequacy?
Many years ago, I was asked to present a dramatic monologue during an event for Campus Crusade. I spent hours in preparation for my two-hour solo. And when the evening came, Libby and I were sitting in the front row, enjoying the program, and waiting for my cue. Just as it was my turn to go on stage, the emcee announced to the audience, “We’ve got a surprise for you!” Vonette Bright, the wife of Campus Crusade’s founder, was on the phone.
Over the loud speakers, Vonette announced that her husband, Bill, was expected to pass away that night. There was a hush in the room and tears on cheeks as we listened to Vonette share Bill’s story.
Then it was my turn. Before the lights came up, I was drying my tears and contemplating the intense moment we’d all shared. And then I realized my mind was blank. I was scheduled to be on stage for the next two hours, and I couldn’t remember a single line.
I was painfully aware of my limitations, and I contemplated dashing off the stage before go time.
Inadequacy is a struggle. It can either paralyze us or taunt us. We want to either run away or ignore the request – convinced God has the wrong person in mind for the job.
This begs the question: Does God actually ask people to do things beyond their abilities?
Luke 9 would answer, “Absolutely.”
Jesus’ disciples had just returned from their first solo ministry circuit – driving out demons and curing diseases – and Jesus invites them to retreat with Him. But the crowds follow; and rather than turn them away, Jesus welcomes them and teaches until dinnertime.
The Twelve came to [Jesus] and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go… find food and lodging….”
He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish…” (Luke 9:12-13)
Jesus had eyes to see the thousands of hungry people. He knew there wasn’t enough food. But He asked the disciples to feed them anyway.
Lord, it’s possible that focusing on my own limitations has stolen precious moments of worship. Rather than listen to a voice of self-loathing, amplify within me a voice of praise for You and the way You want to partner with me. Amen.
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