Sometimes it is easy to feel incapable….
Inside, I can feel so mundane when what life is requiring of me is spectacular.
But I have learned lessons from these feelings earlier in my life, so I know when they come what is most likely wrong. There are usually two truths being revealed.
- I have ceased to abide.
- I have become over-responsible.
The first reality usually users me into the second, ever so subtly. Rarely do I notice when I begin to shift my attention from Him to “them”. I will sit down in the morning, seeking to linger in His presence through Bible study and prayer, when all of a sudden, my attention is diverted to all of the “needs” pressing into my day. Little by little, the pressure squeezes Him out of my mind, stealing my attention from the One who gives to the one who takes. I begin to feel the burden of meeting all these needs in my life (over-responsibility).
My to-do list has the power to control me when I should be the one controlling it. Life and experience have taught me that the enemy of my faith loves to use this never-ending list of mine to rob me of what I need on a daily basis, what is mine by right as a child of the Most High.
As I sense a break in my peace, a feeling of insufficiency, it is my opportunity to see the forrest for the trees. These moments show me that I have allowed the enemy to take my joy and ability that are found in Him. You see, there is a transaction that takes place as I abide in Christ. I bring Him my empty and He fills it with Himself. This is an act of grace- receiving what I do not have and am incapable of attaining.
Isn’t grace Jesus? God’s riches at Christ’s expense?
What a miracle that is! What unfailing love to provide me what I have no hope of acquiring! And all I have to do is look to Him and expect. How freeing that is to release my tendency of self-sufficiency and instead look to Him to provide.
That is what Mary, His mother, did in John 2:1-11. She was at a wedding along with Jesus and some of His disciples when the wine ran out. This was an embarrassing situation for the bride and groom and their families. When she realized the situation, she instinctively looked to Jesus for help.
She did not try to fix the problem herself (which would be over-responsibility), she just told Jesus about the need. As she looked to Him for what was currently insufficient or lacking, she knew He would make it enough. Her dependence and expectancy of Jesus is an example of the “abiding” taught in John 15:1-8.
I love how Jesus chose to remedy the situation. It says in John 2:6,
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
The Lord used 6 ordinary vessels to meet the needs through extraordinary means. It was not the jars that were special, nor was it the water that was significant. It was the grace of Jesus that transformed the inadequate vessels and contents to abundant, miraculous provision. This one act brought honor to the bridegroom and glory to Jesus as He was the only explanation for the transformation. It culminated in the disciples putting their faith in Jesus (verse 11).
When I allow myself to become distracted in my time with the Lord by the demands of tasks or others, I am beginning to give of myself when I have not yet received from my Great Supplier. I cease to abide ( to remain as one with) while trying to give out of my own insufficiency. But when I remain closely connected with Christ, I am equipped to be used by Him to accomplish tasks and serve others far and above my potential. What I am inadequate to personally offer, He supplies abundantly. He transforms my “nothing” into “something”!
I am ordinary just like those stone jars used for ceremonial washing. There is nothing special about me, but there is something extraordinary about what happens when I spend focused, intimate time with Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith.
A miracle takes place in me as I bring Him my “empty” and He fills it with Himself!
I am no longer incapable, overwhelmed or inadequate. Nor do I feel the pressure to meet the needs in my life, transacting my own must-have miracles. Instead, I am filled up and ready to be poured out for His name’s sake, honoring those I serve and glorifying Him who died for me.
Coming to the Master for the miracle I need every day is the best use of my time and worth my full attention. Only through abiding will I overcome the burden of over-responsibility and the pressure of a mounting to-do list.
Feeling mundane cannot begin to describe the superior contents of what is inside of me…….Him!
What about you? Do you feel impossibly inferior for what your dreams and life seem to require? Do you feel like your bucket empties as fast as you try to fill it ? Whenever you feel the pressures of life, remember the two conflicting realities- abiding and over-responsibility.
God will accomplish what His will determines for us, nothing less and nothing more. It is His work to perform the miracle as it is ours to abide. Let us draw close to Him before we start giving of ourselves, leaving the miracle for the Master as He fills us with overflowing grace.