Quit worrying about whatever it is that you think you lack.
There’s something about human nature that causes us to want things that we don’t have and to devalue or disregard all of the things that we do have. Ecclesiastes 1:8 reminds us that the eye is not satisfied with seeing, or the ear filled with hearing. There is always something new to be desired or something next to be sought after. It can be easy for us as ministry leaders to be discouraged by what we don’t have and to pine for things that we wish we had. This can turn into ‘if only’ longings that can sound something like this:
“We could have such an amazing kids ministry and reach so many kids in the community if only …”
We each fill in the if only in our own ways. If only we had a gym. If only we had a better playground. If only we had a cooler kids space. If only we had more volunteers. If only we had more budget. Living in the depths of your ‘if onlies’ can be paralyzing. It can sap your strength and crush your spirit. Aren’t we blessed to serve a great God who heals paralytics and casts out false spirits? We need to remember that we belong to a God whose strength is made perfect in our weakness and who lifts up the downcast. All things are possible through Him. He is above and beyond our circumstances and He has promised to complete the good works that He has begun in us.
For all of my fellow ‘if only’ leaders out there, let me remind you of the account of one of our own kind. In Exodus 3 and 4 we find Moses tending flocks in the desert. He has made mistakes. He fled to the desert after killing an Egyptian who was harsh to one of his Hebrew brothers. You remember what happened next. One day he looked up and saw a bush that was burning. But this was a weird bush. While it burned it wasn’t consumed. The Lord spoke to Moses from the bush. God told him to take off his shoes. God told him His name. And God called him to a mission: to go to Pharaoh and tell the king to let God’s people go. Do you remember how Moses responded to this miraculous commissioning? He disqualifies himself. Moses tells God that He has the wrong guy. “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent” “my mouth and my tongue are sluggish.” Moses wants God to pick somebody else. Anyone else. Maybe you’ve heard yourself making similar excuses. I can’t do that. I don’t have what I need. I don’t have what it takes. But God reminds Moses of a bigger truth: “Who placed a mouth on humans? Who makes a person mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.”
I love the question that God asks Moses in Exodus 4:2. “The Lord asked him, ‘What is that in your hand?’ ‘A staff,’ he replied.” —I can picture Moses looking at the stick he was holding. ‘This thing? It’s just a stick.’ Here’s Moses. He was raised in a royal palace as the adoptive son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He had every advantage. He was lavished with luxury. Now he is living in the hot dusty desert and all he has is a stick.—But, wait! Don’t miss what happens next! God instructs Moses to take the one thing that he has—his staff—and throw it on the ground. When he does it becomes a snake! Then God tells him to pick it up (by the tail) and it becomes his stick again. The point is not that this was a miraculous or magical stick. The point is that even an ordinary broken-off branch can be used for wondrous things when it is in the hands of one who is called and equipped by God. God used that very same stick all through Exodus. God used it as a lesson for Moses in the desert. God used it to display His power to Pharaoh. God used it when He parted the Red Sea.
God is not limited by what we do not have!!! While Moses was focussed on the ability that he lacked, God demonstrated that He already provided everything Moses needed. All Moses had to do was give it to God and follow His instructions. So, quit worrying about whatever it is that you think you lack. Whether ability, support, or resources. Offer to God whatever it is that you already have in your hand and watch Him do incredible things.