Inadequate: Defective. Insufficient. Incompetent.
For the past several days I have been struggling with something I call the “anything but” syndrome.
- Super Mom, I am anything but
- The girlfriend I should and need to be, I am anything but
- An example to those around me of what it means to be a Christian, I am anything but
- An effective leader, I am anything but
- Talented enough for my position in the workforce, I am anything but
- A friend that loves like I am called to love, I am anything but
- A good steward of my time, I am anything but
All of us struggle with feelings of inadequacy at some point in our life. There are some things that we are tasked with doing that just don’t match our skill set. Possibly skill set isn’t the issue. We’ve felt the sting of failure. We tried, we failed, and experience proves we are indeed inadequate.
Last week I started feeling woefully inadequate on every front. It all started the morning I forgot my purse. Seriously!
Me, myself and I started talking to each other, and one of the 3 said something like, “You think you’re so smart. You love to learn, you read every chance you get, you think that just because you graduated with a fancy title on your degree that you can think your way through just about any problem. But you are really dumb as a box of rocks. Look at you, always forgetting. Always losing something. Reacting irrationally, pushing the ones you love the most away. You are anything but put together girl. You are a wreck. Someday, it will all crash around you. The real you will be brought into the bright and shining light. What will you do then? Hmmm?”
Then came today….
The sermon hadn’t even begun. Our worship pastor, used the very word that kept me awake last night. Inadequate. Over and over I rehearsed the places I come up short. I prayed, more like begged, for a solution that would put an end to my bone headed ways. I was clearly feeling pretty sorry for myself. All because I forgot my purse like a week ago!
The passage he used is in Exodus. It was a time when Moses felt inadequate. Moses? Really? He’s like a super hero of the Bible.
Exodus 6:12 – But Moses said to the Lord, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?”
Yet, when God told Him to go to Pharoh, he doubted that he was the guy. He doubted that Pharoh would listen. He had an issue with eloquent delivery, past experience, and he questioned the plan of the God of the entire Universe.
God’s response? I Am and I will.
I Am the Lord. You tell him to let my people go, tell him everything I tell you.
You tell him and I will. I will bring about my promise.
- I will bring you out.
- I will rescue you from bondage.
- I will redeem you.
- I will be your God.
- I will bring you into the land.
- I will give it to you as heritage.
Just as I promised. They (the Egyptians) will know that I Am the Lord.
God used Moses to deliver the people, but Moses wasn’t the deliverer. God was, and is still today. God knew about Moses’ shortcomings, and chose him still.
From our vantage point, who could blame Moses for feeling inadequate? His last encounter with Pharoh resulted in backlash for the Israelites. He tried, he seemingly failed, best to throw in the towel.
Does this line of thinking sound familiar? It sure does for me. Like Moses, insecurity and feelings of inadequacy sometimes lead me to question God and others. There are days I want to throw in the towel. Quitting seems like a pretty decent option when overwhelmed by the feelings of anything but. Why on earth would God, or anyone else for that matter, think I am qualified.
We will never be what God has called us to be on our own and apart from Him. He knows every detail on our list of anything but. It doesn’t mean there aren’t things we don’t need to work through with Him, perhaps it’s part of the process, and perhaps our insufficiency is the very thing that will be what shows off His power and brings Him (as in not us) glory.
As long as we are the focus, the task is the focus, inadequacy will continue to leave us questioning God, His wisdom, and His plan. None of the roles God gives us are meant to be tackled alone and in our own strength. None. He is the center of it all. But, when we allow God room to work through us, shortcomings and all, He can do things that just don’t add up by our calculations.
Do you ever feel inadequate? When met with the reality of your shortcomings, what do you do? Can you believe that He is the Great I Am and that He can and will use you for great things?