I remember afternoon after afternoon staring at flash cards. I would try to articulate the right word, while having no idea what to say. I could see the frustration in my parents eyes. I could sense the air of irritation at my stupidity. I just wasn't getting it. I didn't know what I was doing.
I was behind. I was a mess of a reader - and I felt like a mess of a person.
It's no wonder I was held back in third grade.
My lack of performance made me inadequate.
My inability to succeed made me a failure.
My incapability to please my parents made me feel out of control.
My perception that I had nothing to offer, made me feel like giving up.
My shortcoming made me feel I would always fall short in life.
Have you ever felt this way?
Have you ever felt less than, unsure and demotivated because you were afraid you weren't good enough?
Sometimes, I feel like I return right back to that table; it's as if the piles of flash cards stand before me. I see myself trying and trying, yet failing and failing. I see myself giving my all, only to feel like I know what the result will be - failure.
But, today, the voice of my eternal father is louder than feelings of the past; he speaks new words to a weary heart.
Words that change the game.
That mark me anew.
That free me from situations that come to cloud over me with insecurity and fear.
That save me from the rains that try to soak me with inadequacy.
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph. 2:10)
The truth is, that I am God's unique work - the ultimate work of his hand. He has chiseled me just the way he wants me. Piece by piece he has cut little areas within me to make me more like him. Piece by piece he has shaped me into who he wants me to be. Yes, at times, it has hurt, but his small cuts have made all the difference - so that I may bear a greater resemblance to Him.
He has created me to be more than enough in Christ Jesus.
His grace is sufficient for me.
God worked and he loves what he has created.
He loves the beauty that is Him - in me.
God not only has given me good things to do in this world, but He has shaped them beforehand for me to do. If he has predestined these plans, it assures my heart that he can use even the most lacking child.
He created me and knows where I will go.
He sends my feet in the direction they should head as I trust them.
I can rest in the fact that I won't "miss it" as long as I am trusting him "through it".
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (Prov. 16:9)
These are my roads, created for me to walk in. They are your roads, created for you to walk in.
With Jesus, we no longer need to walk in fear, because as he draws near and he wipes away every old tear.
It doesn't matter what our past record is because God makes all records new. He clears the slate to put on our plate what holds eternal weight. That is our fate. Not flash cards, not old names, not old feelings - our fate is once-crucified Jesus Christ sitting in glory and us standing in heaven right there with him. That is our fate.
The works I am walking are pre-established, set forth for God's glory and will be brought to completion on the day of Christ Jesus. There is no pressure to succeed or to be better, because these are his pre-prepared works.
"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil 1:6)
Step-by-scary-step Jesus walks with us. He walks in front of us and behind us too. He is always with us.
In this, we can take risks.
We can step out when we feel fearful.
We can walk into rooms with flash cards and now cower.
We can live in the face of our inadequacies.
His roads lead to peace, joy and purpose. Insecurities fall to the sidelines. We can run confidently, knowing where our strength comes from because when you have God behind you, you don't need baggage.
With Christ, there is an understanding that you are less than,
but there is also an understanding that through him
you are more than.
Be assured, friend, Jesus knows our way and in him we lack nothing.