I have been pondering what it means to experience blessings in the most inadequate of times. Exploring what a blessing is… and what inadequacy brings into the picture, has brought me to conclusions and questions.
Webster’s defines these words:
:not enough or not good enough : not adequate
:insufficient; also :not capable
: approval that allows or helps you to do something
: help and approval from God
: something that helps you or brings happiness
In studying the definitions of these two words, I see they go together. Blessing fulfills inadequacy. And, sadly, our inadequacy can steal away and forfeit a blessing if we allow it to be so. When we receive a gift (blessing), that blessing meets a need or fills the inadequate places. We need blessings, because everyday we, on our own, are not enough to fill each need, inadequacy or task before us.
If our inadequacy creates pride and, in our arrogance, we shun that aforementioned gift or blessing, then we miss out. All we have is… our flawed brokenness for company and we walk each day defeated and lonely.
My inadequacies are vast and many. As a new widow, I am daily encountering the tasks and emotions and steps where I fall short of accomplishment and a sense of a job well done. In single parenting, home repairs, car maintenance and… the list goes on and on, I am… inadequate. I am not daddy; I have run up against challenges in managing my role as the only authority figure at home; and I can barely wrap my mind around my own grief, but also need to help my children work through theirs. Inadequate, deficient, lacking sorely and so on.
But in all this growing fogginess, there is always blessing. It holds out comforting hands, pouring out grace and love, captivating my very overwhelmed heart. Quietly, blessing awaits surrender… from the lies of inadequacy. You see, inadequacy is a catalyst, that brings me to one of two places; my knees in prayer for strength and wisdom (a blessing) or the pain of pride and unwillingness to admit I cannot walk by myself.
Pride… well… it leads to that proverbial fall… flat on my face. Hurt, unnecessarily and wallowing in even more inadequate mire then before. Agony and dark thoughts abound, criticism and sarcasm run rampant, and searing pain collapses my puffed up thoughts. And… still blessing stands by… waiting, waiting, waiting.
This place of surrender, where the tallest I stand is the height I am on my knees… well… that is the most beautiful place to catch the view of the hand outstretched waiting for mine to grasp it. I realize this painful part of the journey has brought me to the love, wisdom and strength I needed… all because I admitted I couldn’t take one more step alone. In fact, I needed my Father to gather me up and carry me for a time. And as He does, He whispers “peace be still, oh troubled heart. I will be with you always.” Blessing… that approval stamped on my heart, allowing me to go forward and take steps I couldn’t have taken before.
So, you see, with out the inadequate places of completely being so low we have nowhere to go, but our Heaven Father, we wouldn’t appreciate or even recognize blessings. He has placed His hands on the heads of His dear children, and given them an inheritance, a royal priesthood, and promise of a crown in glory. He longs for a relationship with us, and allows the fragile and flawed world we live in to collapse the grand thoughts that we can keep tackling and battling on our own. He longs for His dear children to run into His strong loving arms, where we can shed our tears of pain and discouragement. He desires a conversation with us, where He reveals the blessings of His promises and has an opportunity to teach us how to bring Him glory in the midst of painful circumstances.
Are you feeling inadequate… good!!!
He is only as far away as a prayer. He is waiting hands outstretched. Loving you dearly.
We are blessed in our mourning, blessed when we are poor of spirit, blessed was widow or orphan, blessed beyond our human capabilities to comprehend. In our inadequacy, we can finally see beyond ourselves and finally ask God to help us take each step in this journey and see all that He is and will be in us.
In an article I recently found, JoHanna Reardon says this…
To Be Blessed Means …
One of my favorite Scripture passages is the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12, where Jesus lists what it means to be blessed. It’s certainly not what comes to my mind when I think of being blessed or when I pray for others to be blessed. Remember all those childhood prayers, “Bless Mommy, Daddy, and Auntie Sue”? We had no idea what we were saying! We were actually saying, “Let them be poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, merciful, pure, peacemakers, and persecuted.”
Matthew 5:2-12 ESV
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.  “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.  “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Inadequate, so that we can know what it is to be blessed. This process has helped me conclude that I am blessed, even at my worst, lowest and ugliest places. But, I will question my God and Saviour, as I learn to reach out and hold fast for my strength and wisdom