Do you ever get wrapped up in self doubt, questioning your abilities? Wendy shares her struggles, and reminds us to focus on His abilities, as God alone is good.
Overcoming Self Doubt
When I open my Bible each morning, I have no idea which particular Scripture verse is going to speak to me and fortify me for the day. Recently I was encouraged by a verse that was timely for me as I struggled to feel good enough to get anything worthwhile done. I was wondering if I’d been mistaken in believing I could write words worthy of sharing, words capable of encouraging, and words able to inspire others to draw closer to Christ. I worried I didn’t have the goods to do good.
But before I tell you what the verse was that inspired me, I need to go back in my history and share how God helped me overcome self-doubt concerning other areas of my life.
Back in 1995 as I sat on the edge of my bed and peered into the baby bassinet my newborn son was sleeping in, I was suddenly overwhelmed with a tsunami-sized wave of fear as I realized my first child’s survival depended on me being a good mother. If I didn’t feed him, change him, and love him, he wouldn’t survive. I’d never been solely responsible for a life before. Yes, my husband was there beside me too. But it was my body that was required to provide the sustenance for our son’s survival.
You Are Not Alone
The more I thought about it, the more my heart pounded. And then I looked away from my son and towards the ceiling where the picture railing trimmed the freshly painted walls. And there, as though I was hanging up a portrait of Christ, I hung my hopes in Jesus. He would help me nurture this child. I wasn’t alone. I would be good enough because God is good.
Months later a family member commented that it looked like my son was being fed a diet of cream, for he’d been growing leaps and pounds and was bigger than 90% of other babies his age. Yes, God was good. He met me in my need, and He met the needs of my son.
I Will Be There With You
It was actually an event that happened about ten years before the birth of my son that prepared me to look up instead of inward when I was overwhelmed. I’d been struggling to have positive thoughts about my life. My husband was working too many hours at a job that formally had two people performing what he was doing. I was lonely and homesick while we lived in that remote northern community. Thankfully I busied myself with good things like baking, volunteering, and writing. But in the back of my mind I wasn’t sure if I could keep myself from despair day after day and evening after evening while spending so much time alone.
One morning I woke up just as a clear sentence was running through my mind. To this day, I remember it word for word.
But… before I share those words with you, let’s add some more tension to today’s story by skipping ahead to when my three children had all entered their teen years. Again, I was sitting on the edge of my bed and I was suddenly overcome with a wave of fear as I wondered what trials I was about to face in the near future. I wondered if I was up to the task of parenting teens while my own body succumbed to growing older pains of its own. I looked up at the vintage-style ceiling lamp and waited in the silence; I sensed God was agreeing there would be trials—lots of them. So I leaned into the thought and comfort of His Presence until I recognized His still small voice reminding me, “I will be there with you.”
His comfort corralled my fear and freed me to rest in His peace. He is a good God, and He’ll be with me through the bad times, and He’ll miraculously use them for good too.
God Alone Is Good
Now let’s return to the beginning when I said I’d found something especially inspiring in the Scriptures. I read Luke 18:19 NIV in which Jesus said to a rich young ruler: “No one is good—except God alone.”
You know, misery isn’t the only thing that loves company, so does insecurity. I found comfort in being reminded I’m not alone in not being good enough. This verse makes it plain as the big old cherry tree standing outside my writing room window that no one on this planet is good on their own; God alone is good.
But we mustn’t use truth for an excuse not to fulfill the good works He has planned for us to do. When we have been born-again into the family of God, we are given the power to perform that which concerns us. If God can turn a shepherd into a king, God can equip us to do anything. And that’s just it—it’s God that does the transforming and empowering of His workers.
We were all disqualified before coming to Christ.
When the earth was first formed and God’s breath was first breathed into the lungs of mankind, God said it was good. But then Adam and Eve took the apple into themselves and turned from approved to ashamed. Sin became the sign over their doorpost and ours until the blood of the Lamb wiped it clean—forever.
Focus On God’s Abilities
If we take a close look at who Jesus chose to work through—to speak through—in the Bible, you’ll find a menagerie of—frankly—losers. Seriously though, no one revered tax-collectors, prostitutes, fishermen, or shepherds. God seems to take delight in confounding the wise with the simpletons of society.
It’s time for me to close with the words God spoke over me back in the nineteen eighties, back when I was newbie at following Christ, back when I first started to recognize His voice. I woke up from a restless sleep to hear Him say: “Stop focusing on your inabilities and focus on My abilities.”
I’d say that’s spot on since God alone is good. I hope I’ve encouraged you to tackle the tasks God has asked you to do.
Blessings as you focus on God’s abilities
Wendy L. Macdonald
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