Have you ever thought to yourself…
“I really need to get in shape so that I can go to the gym.”
If you’ve ever been to a gym at a low point in your fitness regime (meaning, you haven’t been in ages and your butt is about as flat as the exercise bench…or your belly is about as round and mushy as a Bosu ball)…then I’d be willing to bet that you’ve seriously considered doing some running for a couple of months and THEN coming back to exercise in the company of others.
If you’ve never had that thought, then consider *THIS* the part where I just kicked you in the teeth because I’m jealous of your round butt and flat abs and superior perspective.
Seriously though, what is it about thinking we have to get ourselves in shape before we can really get in shape? Or thinking we have to get our lives “on track” before we can even talk to God?
Have you ever been in a place in your life where you thought to yourself… “What a mess I’ve made. Once I get things straightened out I’m really going to start praying again….or going to church again….or whatever?”
I heard a really cool thought the other day…
Oftentimes, the very thing that we think disqualifies us for work in the Kingdom of Heaven, is actually our most qualifying attribute.
Most of you know that I have lost 2 babies. In so many ways, God continues to redeem those losses by allowing me to breathe life into others who are walking a path similar to my own. The very loss, struggles, and pain…some of my many “disqualifiers”… are some of the things that I continue to find God using most for good as I continue to step forward in my life. Because I’ve walked a hard road, I can see some of what that road could look like for other people…I’m aware of a need, and thus I’m more equipped to help meet it.
Maybe you’ve dealt with addiction and think that keeps you from being worthy of even coming before a perfect God. Maybe you’ve horribly wounded a relationship and think that keeps you from being able to pour into others. What if you had an affair, does that keep you from ever being able to have a good marriage again, or perspective for maintaining a marriage? Perhaps you have lost a person in your life and think your overwhelming grief for months or years disqualifies you from being able to ever share laughs or joy again. Maybe you think that your own failure to triumph over anything nullifies your ability to have wisdom for others. I don’t know what your thing is, but we all have something.
“What you are determines what you see…
and what you see determines what you do.”
And we all see things differently. We notice pain in others differently, we notice joy differently, we all have differing perspectives on everything because we’ve all walked different paths in life. But our different hardships don’t disqualify us from doing good, but rather we are empowered because of wisdom gained from walking through hardships. When you have walked through a particular fire, you’re more equipped to help someone else do it too…and perhaps do it even better than you did.
I don’t know, I’ve been thinking about this for a few days….running back in my mind to my failures, my inadequacies, my struggles…the things that I’d think could get in the way of me living a life that is pleasing to the Lord. You know…the stuff that I’ve crapped up. And I keep noticing the same things as I retrace steps and rethink processes and directions I’ve taken…I learned something each time, with each thing. Some good stuff and some bad stuff, but no matter what I learned, I’m more aware of those things in life…in others. I’m more aware of how to encourage someone, to help someone, to meet a need. My disqualifiers make me more qualified to overcome than if I hadn’t dealt with them in the first place. I remember a post I wrote some time back HERE, and there was a quote I’d just heard that said…
“You can’t overcome something you never underwent.”
And I’m reminded of that thought again: That the things I’ve undergone make me even more qualified to overcome again…and again…and again…and to be used for great things for God because of them.
I don’t have to be fit before I get started on fitness. I don’t have to be perfect before God can use me. Just think of all the time we waste… deferring what could be present greatness as we prepare to actually achieve it in the future.
I’m qualified just as I am for greatness NOW…
and SO ARE YOU.