My son had to give a speech today in his English class. A 3-5 minute memorized speech with proper inflection, gestures, and eye contact. To my introverted introvert this assignment has felt insurmountable. He has dreaded this day all month. I am so anxious to hear how it went, and yet, truth be told, the grade doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that he will have done it! What matters is that he did the hard work of memorizing it, of rehearsing it, of standing up to face his fear and of simply opening his mouth to begin! I am so proud of him because I know how hard this is for him. And whether he knocks it out of the park or fumbles and forgets his words, it doesn’t matter to me. Because he tried, he worked and he gave it his best. And I am proud.
Lately, I’ve been stuck on my manuscript. Writing has gotten hard. Complicated. I’ve felt in way over my head. The true story I am telling is multi-layered. It encompasses many people and many moments. Finding the right structure and perspective has been hard. Deciding which stories to include has been difficult. And staying focused on what I’m suppose to be doing on any given day has been a serious challenge.
I will confess to having many moments of believing that I just can’t do this. Of thinking that it’s too hard, that I’m not talented enough, and that surely any day now my publisher is going to realize that they made a horrible mistake.
This week has been hard.
But, in helping my son with his speech prep. In hearing him say things like:
I can’t do this.
It’s too hard.
I’m not good at this.
I’m gonna fail.
I heard God’s perfect words whisper through my imperfect ones:
You don’t have to do it alone. God is with you.
Sometimes the best things are the hardest things. But God is God over all and nothing is ever too hard for Him.
God does not call us to do something that He will not equip us to do. You have the power of the Holy Spirit living within you. You can do anything He calls you to do!
The results are not your concern. You prepare. You do the work. You try your best and then…you trust and rest.
Yes, sometimes God asks us to do hard things. Really hard things. Sometimes He pushes us far past our own abilities, talents, and comfort zones. But He always provides. He always makes a way. And He always, always, stands with us.
And He doesn’t judge us by what others think of our effort. God cheers for us when we take even a baby step forward in obedience. He rejoices over us even when we tentatively stand up and say, “OK Lord, if You’re sure about this then I’m in.” And He smiles on us when we see Him as bigger than our fear and doubt.
We aren’t going to do everything perfectly. Let me say that again for myself: We aren’t going to do everything perfectly. We will mess up, we will fail, but we must try. We must hold onto the hand of the One who calls us and equips us and say, “I choose to walk with You and I choose to trust You. You are bigger than my fear. And You are for me.”
So whatever your hard thing is today. Whatever it is that leaves you frozen in fear and doubt. God is bigger. God is stronger. And He longs to take you by the hand and help you SEE Him as He is – the Great I AM who is for you not against you.
Holding onto Him with you and trusting Him to do this hard thing….