Jacob was a cheater, Paul was a murderer, Miriam was a gossiper, Sara was impatient, David had an affair, Martha was a worrier, Jonah ran away from God, Elijah was depressed, Zacchaeus was short, Abraham was old, Peter had a temper, Noah got drunk, Gideon was insecure, Thomas was a doubter, Moses stuttered, Lazarus was dead.
Have you heard this list before? It is usually followed by, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”
I really really really very much like this list. (I’ve noticed I overuse the word “love” so I’m trying to avoid it for a while). It gathers just a small group of those who have followed the will of God. They were imperfect sinners with an array of obstacles. It is beautiful because we can relate to one, if not all in some way. We can also relate on a larger scale.
There is a common misconception that you have to be finely polished and ready in order for God to use you. No, no and no siree! I am well aware that I only had two statements but the three no’s is totally necessary. I hope I’m not the first one to tell you that this is not how it works! The Bible shows us over and over that there are zero qualifications that you need to meet before God will work in your life.
This is not encouragement for you to go haywire, knowing that the Lord can make anything possible. It is consolation that your circumstances do not define you. They do not hold you back from His grace nor do they affect how much He loves you. You are exactly where you need to be in His embrace.
Ezekiel 37 has drawn my attention these past couple days. The prophet Ezekiel had a vision of a land with dry bones that represented Israel. God instructed Ezekiel to walk on the bones and prophesy over them so the spirit could bring them to life. “I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land; thus you shall know that I am the Lord. I have promised, and I will do it, says the Lord.” – Ezekiel 37:14.
We are all dry bones without Him. But, what sucks the marrow out of us is not a coincidence. Go to the Healer as you are in this moment. God wants your heart and He is relentless. He is reaching out his hand to enliven your soul and provide you with abundant life. He promises to do so and His covenants never fail!
Go ahead and add yourself to the list above. What makes you insecure? What holds you back from complete trust in God? What is drying up your bones? What makes you human?
Now release it. That was quite a fast transition, my apologies. Ready now? Let it go by offering it up to the Lord. It does not have any worth because He overlooks it and sees YOU. He does not focus on your appearance or your bad habits or even your pulse (hey wassup Lazarus). He created you to be so much more and any earthly thing that makes you “unqualified” does not compare.
This past weekend, the deacon saying the homily stressed that one person at a time is all it takes to evangelize. The Acts of the Apostles is a testament to this concept. He added that you don’t have to be special to spread the mission of the church. You just have to be you, flaws and all. Please be you and please make plenty o’ mistakes.
When you look in the mirror, I hope you see a child of God and not your breakouts or bushy eyebrows. Your shortcomings, guilt and past do not ruin His plans for you. No matter what your life looks like, allow Him to use you. Don’t even doubt that you are called. His ways are always higher than what you can imagine!