Inadequacy is a feeling I would say I am well acquainted with. Being a mother has taken all of my flaws and placed an unignorable spot light on all of them. The first child God placed in my charge revealed my tendency to revert to anger in times of uncertainty and stress. After the second child, crippling fear and anxiety became my reality as I was not only responsible for two little lives, but my own health was now hanging in the balance of the unknown. I have spent the last two and a half years rebuilding my faith from the foundation up. God lead me to trust Him with everything, and I had to come to the devastating realization that I was, in every sense of the word, inadequate. I had sinned in fear and self-righteousness for far too long, and I was falling painfully short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
Fast forward a bit through the construction process, and I find myself at today. Sixty plus days into the COVID-19 quarantine, bound by the military travel restrictions, and the last five days have brought nonstop rain, so our duck pond trips have been curtailed. Dismal, would be the first word to come to mind for most. Low and behold, I look down at my phone and see, “TORNADO WARNING. TAKE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY”. I paused my audio book, abandoned my pile of laundry, sent my four year old to grab a stuffed animal, woke up my son from his nap (which in case you aren’t aware, is a cardinal sin), grabbed a stack of books and ushered us all into our innermost room with no windows, the laundry room. Oh wait, the dog… Boomer! Get in here! Okay. All safe, right?
We sat there for a minute while I explained the strange behavior. My husband is a military pilot and always has the latest and greatest on the weather updates, so I phoned him. He politely laughed at my precautions, threw around some meteorologisty terms and assured me that we will be fine. Knowing he was probably right; I bolstered the children and we left our linen scented stronghold to go watch a movie until the storm was over. My husband then texted me that it may have changed direction, so as an extra precaution, I should secure the toys and loose items in the backyard. I put my phone down, and sat there for a moment, trying to draw from a reservoir of peace and faith that I knew, as a Christian I should have in all circumstances. Wrong. It is not me. I do not naturally possess this peace and faith. When fear or other sins infect our mind, we grieve the Holy spirit and put our abilities above Him, trying to control all we can. It takes the volition granted by God to put the Holy Spirit in the driver seat, not emotion; walking in step with the spirit is the way to produce that fruit of peace (Gal 5:22). The process goes like this: take every thought captive (2 Cor 10:5), remember promises in scripture (Col 3:16), trust my problems to God and then have faith in Him because HE will give me rest and deliver me (Psalm 50:15).
So, I gathered my children close, and said, “Do you remember our memory verse from this week?” and without missing a beat, my four-year-old spouts out Psalm 56:3. “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” Yes. Yes, dear one! And that, that is what we will do. In this moment that could be chaos, we will pray that God sends his guardian angels to protect us and our city. We will pray for calm skies, and calm hearts.
What peace filled my home at that moment, I can only hope you know. At that instant, I was completely filled, and made adequate by the redeeming love of God (Isaiah 26:3). As I headed out to the back yard to collect chairs and loose gardening tools, I heard my daughter comforting my son that even if the tornado sucked up our whole house, mom will figure it out, and God will keep us safe. And If the tornado destroys our vegetable garden, it's okay because she would rather plant flowers instead. That little girl is truly a marvel.
Our adequacy in all situations comes from reliance on Him, trusting Him to fill in the gaps where we fall short, and remembering to call on Him.
I am not, and never will be, enough. But Jesus is. There is that gentle, loving reassurance that I don't have to be. The bliss that comes from knowing you are undeniably dependent on God’s goodness should be of great comfort during these times, and all the times to come.
A prayer for today
God know my and deliver me of my sin nature; my fear, unbelief and for my desire to control all things. Thank you, God, for sending your Son and for freeing us from the burden of perfection.
Grant me the wisdom to call upon you in times of stress and uncertainty. Fill me with your Spirit and keep my heart from the temptation to turn to my sins and own devices. May we all seek your face continually. In Jesus name, Amen.
Jeslyn is a reverent student of the word. She lives to read, research and share God's wisdom. She is a dedicated wife and mother of two. Her husband, Jeremy, is a pilot for the Marine Corps so they are a family constantly on the move. This lifestyle has proved to provide fertile ground for witnessing and growing faith among friends. Homeschooling their children gives her ample opportunity to fill their days with study, outdoor adventures, baking, gardening, and reading all the books.