A Place For Me
Once upon a time a dear friend of mine wanted me to make a career change. He wanted me to come and help him with a great work he was doing. I turned him down…repeatedly…until he stopped asking. I turned him down not because I didn’t love him or want to work with him. No, that wasn’t it. I didn’t turn him down because I thought little of the work. On the contrary, I could see so clearly the greatness of the task…the good being done…the possibilities of it all. It would have meant a move several states away from extended family. But that’s not why I refused. I refused because I was afraid of letting him down. I knew I couldn’t match his pace. That was a given. But I feared that I would become more a dead weight to him than a help in the kingdom work he was doing. I often wonder how life would have been different had I accepted the challenge. Did I miss the greatest opportunity of my life to bear fruit for the Lord…to be a strength to my friend…to grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ?
The fear of inadequacy probably assaults most of us now and again. And with good reason, don’t you think? Do you remember the fellow who visited his psychiatrist and gave him his self-diagnosis? “Doc,” he said, “I think I am suffering from an inferiority complex.” To which his doctor replied, “No you are not. You actually are inferior!” There are confident souls among us, bless them. But many of us feel we are not up to it. And the fact is, we are right!
Listen to me now, please, if you are one of us who feel we don’t measure up…not in intellect, or in appearance, or in giftedness, or in integrity, or in courage or in a hundred other things, Paul has a word for us…“For behold your calling, brethren, that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called…” (1 Corinthians 1:26). It isn’t that God didn’t care for the wise, the mighty and the noble. It’s that most of them didn’t see their need of Him. God can certainly use the wise, the mighty and the noble of this world. But He isn’t limited to them. He loves them…calls them…and will accept and save them. But His call goes much further than to this world’s “success” brokers.
Then Paul speaks of a group much larger in number…a group that God “chose” because they were willing. See if you can find yourself here…here among the “foolish, weak, lowly, despised nothings” of the world. Are you afraid you don’t measure up? Relax. You don’t. I don’t either. In fact no one does. For we all have missed the mark and fallen woefully short of God’s glory. But our Father God set Jesus Christ forth so that we could “measure up” once we enter Him. Bless His Name! Do you often feel foolish or weak? Have you felt like the invisible man or woman when some promotion or honor comes along? Have you not only been ignored but actually been despised? If you were to place yourself on a special scale that measures worth, do you feel it wouldn’t budge, even if you were to jump up and down? Well…I have good news for you. You are exactly who God is looking for! Please don’t count yourself out. God counts you in. We are waiting for you. We…the “foolish, weak, lowly, hated, zeroes of the world,” are here to remind you that God works wonders with the world’s rejects. Here…in Jesus Christ…there is a place…a safe place…where there is forgiveness…and rest…and peace…and the strength to start over…for us all.