2019-09-11 - Unqualified
Upon receiving an email with the following contents, I found myself mildly disappointed. “We thank you for your interest in the SPCA adoption counselor position. Unfortunately, you do not have the qualifications we are looking for currently, but we wish you luck in your job search endeavors.” It is a common response to an applicant that is not going to move to the interview stage of a job for which they have applied. I have seen a similar note quite a few times, and I grew up knowing it as the “thanks, but no thanks” letter. It is used for college applicants, job applicants, authors seeking to publish their writing, actors and vocalists auditioning for parts, and many others being notified that they need to keep searching. In my mind, I knew that there was a good reason for the result, yet for just a little while, it made me sad and left me feeling unqualified.
The good news for those serving God is that he thrives on showing his glory through the unqualified. Why? Well, think about it. While it is important to have prepared yourself to the best of your ability, for whatever you have ahead of you, the one who is working through you is the source of your qualifications. Too often, we seem to forget this, and we begin to operate as though we are the reason. Sometimes we have had a challenging - yet successful - season in our lives, to which we once had felt unqualified, and then we get a reminder of new necessary changes, next steps, and what is ahead after that season ends. This often requires us to return to a place of feeling unqualified. Sometimes, it starts with a few attempts resulting in “thanks, but no thanks” notes, sometimes it means taking something on that seemed right but has an unexpected and unpleasant ending, and sometimes it means turning in a completely new direction and getting some more tools, along the way, to reach new heights and new hearts. There is a reason for every movement, as we go along as though we are on the board game of Life™® Much like the classic board game, life can take you to humdrum places, unfamiliar places, fun places, times of difficulty, and ones of triumph. For me, the triumph is due to how I can do any of it - by the grace and mercy sent by way of a savior. Personally, I do not think that God thrives on glory, but he certainly deserves it, and I am astonished virtually every day of my life due to what he shares with me and through - me despite how unworthy and unqualified I feel. How about you?
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so, she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So, after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.” (Genesis 16:1-5 NIV)
“Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Genesis 21:1-7 NIV)
“Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:69-75 NIV)
“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:” (Acts 2:14-16 NIV)
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:8-12 NIV)
“The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So, when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance, I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again. “Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’ “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” (Acts 11:1-18 NIV)
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted
September 2019 |
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