I don’t know about you, but I tend to over analyze things a little bit. If you were to ask the people closest to me, they might tell you that I tend to over analyze most things, but since you can’t ask them, I will categorize some of my thought patterns as “deeper thinking” instead (they are laughing right now if they’re reading this).
Something that I really tend to over analyze is opportunity from God. Whenever He places an opportunity in front of me, whether that be to write, to love on someone, or anything else that He calls me to do, I am prone to quickly become stressed out or overwhelmed. I stress about different things, but most stem from the fear that I will mess “it” up, royally. What if I say the wrong things? What if I hurt the person instead of help them? What if I can’t perform to the standards of the people watching me? Feelings of incapability and unpreparedness creep in and if I’m not careful, they paralyze me.
Lately, God has (very patiently) been teaching me some valuable truths related to these struggles, and I hope they can bring you some encouragement too.
4 things to remember next time you feel overwhelmed or unprepared for an opportunity God places in front of you:
- He brought this opportunity to you, so He has a purpose for it.
We are not the ones who create the opportunity, so we are not the ones who decide the purpose. This inability to understand is freeing because it leaves us with only the option of looking to Him for guidance, purpose and reason.
- It’s OK to feel the way that you are feeling. The purpose of this truth is not to bring you guilt or shame, it is to set you free from the weight of it all
God knows us, He knows our hearts and He knew we would struggle with these exact feelings. This is not a surprise to Him and He is not disappointed in us. He not only wants to use us, He wants to teach us valuable truth in the process.
- He can handle it
Don’t let Satan convince you that the outcome is suddenly your task. Our task is obedience. God’s task is working it all out. Instead of trying to create a manual to figure out exactly what to do, we can turn our efforts to focusing on Him and doing our best to follow and glorify Him. He can handle it. After all, it was His idea in the first place.
- You are not big enough to mess up His will
I was voicing my struggles to someone just the other day and she said “Becca, don’t flatter yourself by thinking you are big enough to mess up God’s will.” Ouch! It’s a relieving sting, though, isn’t it? We do not have the power to mess up God’s plans, so we don’t need to carry the pressure that accompanies the concept of that ability.
In John 4, Jesus encounters a woman who had messed up big time. When He touches her heart and changes her, she immediately begins to share her testimony and show Jesus to other people. Was she “prepared”? Would you have felt prepared? I don’t think I would have. She had just met Jesus, what if people asked her questions she didn’t know? What if they didn’t believe her? Her mistakes were no secret and I’m sure her reputation was not one of integrity. Yet, the Bible tells us that “many believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony”. Because they believed in Him, they turned their eyes and open hearts in his direction, “…and because of His words many more became believers”. How amazing is that? The most convicting part for me, though, is what the people told the woman after all of this occurred
“They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.’”
Wow. Maybe it really isn’t about us, after all. Maybe the point of whatever God wants to do through us has nothing at all to do with what we do or what people think of us, and everything to do with the way it will turn people’s eyes to Him, so they can see for themselves.
So, can we mess up? We can certainly appear to. I have proven many times that I am more than capable of making a mess. But how small is my faith if I believe I can mess up God’s “everything”? I can’t, and neither can you. He is God regardless of our missteps and flaws. That is what makes Him so wonderful!
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23