Friday, August 23, 2013
Some rocks just need to be broken: Feeling inadequate for ministry
Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. II Corinthians 3:5
While we are visiting churches in Missouri, Jamie and I will be staying with my parents. On days that we are not visiting a church or meeting with an individual I have been helping my dad landscape the flower bed in front of their house. This week one of the projects has been working on edging the sidewalk with stone. Working with various shapes and sizes of rocks gives it a more natural look than using uniform paver stones, but it is a lot more difficult. One of the hardest things about working with all uniquely shaped stones is many of them will not fit up nicely to the stone laid before it. I have massive piles of stones to sort through and many times I still cannot find one that will work well next to the previous stone. That is when I realized that no matter how great that stone looks it either has to be broken to fit with the others or it won’t be of any use to me.
The phrase, “Some rocks just need to be broken”, began to ring through my head. We know that God is the potter and we are to be the clay, but what about us who are stubborn? What about us who are not as pliable as clay? What about us who are closer to rocks than clay? The reality is that many times we won’t work well next to others. Many times we won’t fit where we should, and the truth is that we have to be broken before we will be of use.
This last year God has been showing me how much of a rock I am (in a bad way). It started when we got accepted to ReachGlobal last October. I knew the process of raising prayer and financial partners would be difficult, but I thought I could do it. Well, eleven months later reality has set in. I can’t do it. The process is difficult, discouraging, and draining to me. I started out on this journey seeing myself as qualified for ministry. I thought that my skills and talents would be sufficient. I was wrong. After just three months I was immensely discouraged with the slow growth of our team of partners. I had to admit, “I’m not good at this.” Faithfully, God encouraged me and told me to stick with it. A few months later discouragement set in once again as I daily felt the realization that I am not qualified for ministry of any kind. Every day I felt more and more broken.
I am one of those rocks that had to be broken. My ego and my “I can do this” mentality would have caused me not to fit or work well with others. For me to be useful to God I needed to be broken by Him. He has been teaching me that I am only useful to Him when I admit that I am not qualified to be used by Him.
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11
And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.” Judges 6:15
Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my clan the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?” 1 Samuel 9:21
And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 1 Kings 3:7
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Isaiah 6:5
Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” Jeremiah 1:6