all I have to give
Today is Saturday, usually cleaning day at our house. I was listening to Christmas music via Pandora this morning as I swept and mopped the kitchen. A song came on that I hadn't heard before. Maybe you have.. it was "This is All I Have to Give" by Todd Agnew. And it was a song from Joseph's perspective, about feeling unworthy of being the one to raise Jesus. He wished he could have built Him a cradle, but instead He was laid in a manger. He felt that Jesus deserved more than he could offer, but at the same time, Joseph was more than willing to give what he could.
I hadn't thought that much about Joseph feeling inadequate before. I love the movie "The Nativity Story" and I remember one part, when Mary and Joseph were talking, and he said, "will I be able to teach him anything?". And I think a lot of us can relate. How often are we given tasks that we feel inadequate or unworthy of? Maybe a job, a ministry, a situation, parenting, etc. But just like we probably think that Joseph was more than the right man for the job and God's obvious choice... He also gives us the grace and strength for each task He calls us to (and thinks we're the perfect choice for).
How many times in Scripture did someone feel inadequate and God simply asked, "what's in your hand?"? (I'm thinking that's not correct grammar there... where does the question mark go?) Anyway, He never asks us to do more than He's already equipped us for. Sure He stretches us, but He doesn't ask us to be someone we're not. He just wants us to offer Him all that we have, all that we are. And then He shows up and works in and through us to accomplish His plan.
A few years ago I was at a women's retreat and I drove home in awe of God and how He uses people in different ways. I have been guilty of comparing talents and gifts, even personalities of others, feeling so blah and boring in the contrast. But His gentle but firm voice spoke to my heart and asked, "Why do you despise who I made you to be?". Ouch. He makes each of us different, which is a good thing. I love diversity and appreciate the personalities and skills of others. We're not made to be like anyone else. And who are we to wish we were something other than what He made us to be? Like Joseph, let's offer all we have to give. That's the best we can do, and all that He wants.