We all have excuses for why we feel we can’t be or do everything we would like. For me, this excuse has often been the fact that I have a chronic illness. In times when my illness is flared, I feel like it prevents me from doing anything well. It is true that sometimes I am so ill I can barely do anything at all, but other times I am just more tired, and in general more drained. I find it difficult to be patient with my children, and I don’t engage with them the way I wish I did. The house is perpetually a disaster because I don’t have the energy to keep up. I’m leery about volunteering to participate in any activities not already on my calendar because I’m not sure I’ll be feeling up for it by the time the date comes around.
God recently gave me a very simple revelation. I was in a time of flare with my illness, and very frustrated with my condition. I was talking to God about my frustration, and my general thought process was this, “I don’t understand why You haven’t healed me. I can’t be the mother, the wife, or the woman I’m supposed to be when I am not well. If I were healthy I could do such a better job. I need You to take this away, so I can be who You want me to be.” I thought it was a pretty convincing argument. I have all of these roles to play that God has given me, and in order to fill these roles in a manner worthy of the One who has called me to them, I must perform with excellence. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have the energy for excellence, just mediocrity.
Needless to say, I was surprised by the answer I heard Him whispering back. “I have given you everything you need to be all that I have called you to be. If you don’t have health, you don’t need it. You might want it, but you don’t need it. You can be everything I require of you right now, with what you have right now.”
I can’t tell you the impact this revelation has had on my perspective. I always assumed that since God is perfect, nothing less than perfection could ever be truly acceptable to offer Him. Well, I can tell you, hearing Him tell me I can be the mother I am supposed to be with what I have meant that, even to God, there is such a thing as “good enough”. If I stop making excuses and do the best I can do with the energy I have, at the end of the day, it will be good enough, and God’s grace will take all of my shortcomings and failings and somehow work them together for good. He will fill in the cracks and gaps where I fall short. He might use other people and their strengths. He might simply use those shortcomings and gaps to build the character that He wants into my children, and prepare them to live their own callings in an imperfect world. Bottom line, not all of our blunders have to be failures. In our weakness, His power is made perfect.
What is your excuse? Do you not have enough energy, money, health, or time? God promises that He will provide for all of our needs. So often, we confuse needs and wants. We have a tendency to be the type of people who pack two suitcases and four pairs of shoes for a weekend trip. We like being overly prepared. God wants us to rely on Him, yet we want the reassurance that we are fully equipped and prepared before stepping out in doing anything. So my encouragement to you is, if you feel God calling you to something, step out. You may not feel like you have everything you need, but you do, or at least you will, when you need it.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10