You is…

A few weeks ago I spoke to our young mom’s group at church.

And what I was really tempted to do was to stand up and just say,

“You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important.”*

And then sit down.

Because after all, if you’re a young mom with baby food in your hair, dazed with only a couple hours of sleep and an infant in a poopy diaper on your lap, what else do you need to hear?

However, they were expecting a little more, so I told them about Elijah.  Elijah who, in just three chapters of the Bible (1 Kings 17, 18, 19) shows us how an ordinary guy can be used by an extraordinary God.

Elijah ends up like Bono – the rock superstar of the Old Testament, calling down fire, winning showdowns with the prophets of Baal, announcing drought and rain…

But actually, one of the most inspiring parts of Elijah’s story isn’t about him, but about his encounter with the widow of Zarephath.  I know, I’ve written about it before, but it’s a great story.

This poor widow and her son with just a little flour and oil, getting ready to eat and die, are called on to lay all she lacked and all she had on the line.  Bake it up and hand it over to Elijah.

And then do it again.

And again.

Since, like the widow without, our default mode is often “I can’t…I don’t have…I’m not _______ enough.” I asked the young moms list all their lack on post-it notes.

What’s on your list of limitations?  Lack of a degree, time, money, margin, support…?

God ignores that list and focuses on what the widow has – flour and oil – and asks her to show up with it.  What’s on your list of gifts and resources?  A spare room?  A passion for teens?  A gift of administration?

The young women listed their resources on a different color post-it.

IMG_3674

Here’s what I love.  Jesus stands smack dab between your list of lack and your list of luster with hands spread wide and bridges the two with this verse:

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Cor. 4:7

So hand it over.  Show up with your good, bad, and ugly and let Him use it today.

I had just finished writing this when I read this that Steven Furtick wrote:

“Think of your limitations as fish and loaves that Jesus is eager to bless.  He can bless only what you bring.  So bring it.”

Lean into His extra not your ordinary.  His super, not your natural.

He is kind.  He is smart.  He is important.

What weaknesses or limitations most threaten to discourage and derail you? What resources do you discount or overlook?

*Aibileen to Mae Mobley in The Help

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