In college, I thought time management was my problem. I had much to do and not enough time to do it. I was convinced that if I could somehow manage my time more effectively, I would solve all of my problems. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn that until later that my problem was not time management. My problem was self-management. I wanted it all: hanging out with my friends, playing games, serving in the local church, and learning (which would result in good grades). I added unnecessary stress to my life because I didn’t understand how to say “no” to the wrong or even good things, so that I could say “yes” to the best things.
This struggle remains. Self-management is difficult. I often fail at prioritizing my schedule, so that the best things in my life are completed. Sometimes, the struggle looks like it did in college: I have lots of things I want to do, and not enough energy to do them. Other times, lack of self-management looks like it did a few years ago; I was overwhelmed with the problems in my life (mostly health issues), and I started to shut down. I stopped doing the things that I knew should. The house became messier and messier. My husband was concerned. I felt depressed. I didn’t know what to do, because I didn’t want to do anything.
And I still haven’t mastered prioritizing and getting the most important things done. In fact, there are some days that I just feel incompetent. Recently, I have been trying to do too much again, and my house could tell the story. I was behind on the laundry and the dishes. My husband couldn’t tell when I last had cleaned the floor. He was concerned that I was depressed again.
So the other day, I turned on an audio copy of the Bible and worked on cleaning my house again. I listened to Adam and Eve and how their incompetence led to everyone being banned from the Garden of Eden. I listened to Sarai’s (or Sarah’s) impatience led to the birth of Ishmael, which divided Abraham’s family. And Rebecca enabled Jacob to steal his brother’s birthright which caused more problems within their family. Even though these women caused problems, God used all of these women as part of His wonderful story.
As I listened to these stories, I became grateful for my God who uses incompetent, impatient people to do His will.
I am not who I want to be; I am not even who God wants me to be. I don’t have to better before God can use me. In all honesty, there is nothing I have to do for God to earn His love and acceptance. Even then, He has put me where I am supposed to be used for His purposes, like Esther.
In the book of Esther, the king chooses Esthe, an Israelite, to be queen just before Haman decides that he wants the Israelites to be killed. Esther probably feels unprepared, and might I suggest, incompetent. She knew the king hadn’t even asked for her recently, and she couldn’t approach him without being summoned. She asked the other Jews to pray and fast with her. Esther is asked to step out in faith to save God’s people. In Esther 4:14, Mordecai describes the situation to Esther, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”
Mordecai encourages Esther to use her position to step out in faith and to save God’s people. Mordecai trusted that God’s will would be accomplished, but he encourages Esther to participate.
Now I encourage you too. God is trust-worthy and God will accomplish His plan. Will you step out in faith to be used where you are? It doesn’t matter that you are not the person that you want to be. It doesn’t matter that you have struggles. It doesn’t matter that you feel incompetent. God know that you are a work in progress and wants to use you. Do you have the faith to follow Him? Will you be like Esther and use your position (despite your feelings) for the glory of God?