Devotions by Christine Caine
Read 1 Peter 4:10–11
God has given each of us gifts with which to serve others.
No Excuses Please
I’ll never forget receiving a letter from the dean of the school of social work at a prestigious university, implying that I was unqualified to work with young people. At the time, I was directing a thriving youth program. To work long-term in youth services, though, the dean said I needed formal training.
Surely he’s right, I thought. I’m technically unqualified to do the very thing I’m doing. I considered submitting my resignation. Yet something inside me said, No, don’t quit. And for fourteen years after receiving that letter, I worked full-time with youth, and now I work to rescue young people from the injustice of human trafficking. To the world, I looked unqualified. But God cared more about my willingness than my qualifications.
There are many roles in God’s kingdom for which one must be uniquely gifted. Music and art for example. We should be sensitive to the possibility, if we lack those gifts, that God may be leading us in a different direction. But once we find that direction, we must not allow ourselves to be deterred.
Abraham was old (Genesis 17:1; 24:1), Sarah was impatient (Genesis 16), Noah got drunk (Genesis 25–27), Miriam was a gossiper (Numbers 12:1–2, Jacob was a cheater (Genesis 25–27), Jonah ran away (Jonah 1:3), David had an affair (2 Samuel 11–12), Elijah was moody—one minute bold and courageous and the next fearful and on the run (1 Kings 18–19), Peter had a temper (John 18:10), Paul was a persecutor (Acts 8:3; 9:1-2), Martha was a worrier (Luke 10:40–41), Thomas doubted (John 20:24–26), Zacchaeus was short (Luke 19:3), and Lazarus was dead (John 11:14–44). But God had a purpose for each of these people. He chose them. He qualified them. He called them, just as he is calling you and me—to go and do in his name. And when he calls us, the name he calls us by is the one he used in the very beginning—good (Genesis 1:26–28; 2:20–23).
I have no doubt that nearly everyone has been called by God at some time in the mot-too-distant past for a task that took them outside their comfort zone—maybe way outside. We may have felt like Moses did: “Lord, I’m not eloquent.” But that’s how God works. He chooses each of us to do something for him despite our past failures, limitations, and inadequacies.
Point to Ponder
Has God been urging you to step out of your comfort zone and into the calling he planned and equipped you for even before you were born? Can you put away your excuses and do as he asks?