I was just in my quiet time and received some encouragement that I wanted to pass on to whoever decides to read this. So, I just finished my very first week as an ICU nurse. Saying this week was overwhelming would be a HUGE understatement! Beforehand, I was so excited to get started, knowing that things would be challenging for a while because I was new. However, I truly don’t think anything could have prepared me for what I was about to go through. During the week, I realized that the perfect world nursing that is taught in nursing school doesn’t exist. I realized that nursing is so much more than knowing how to take care of a patient physically. I know now that I have to think on a level for 12 hours straight that is so much higher than any thinking I’ve done for one second. Most importantly, I learned that when you pray for God to help you grow in Him, you better get ready for the ride. I was being attacked with so many negative thoughts: “What in the world did I get myself into? I can’t believe I actually wanted to be in a career where I had someone’s whole life in my hands. There’s no way I’m going to remember this stuff. I’M JUST NOT SMART ENOUGH FOR THIS! I don’t have the guts to stand up to people the way nurses need to. I feel so useless to the whole staff because I don’t know how to do anything. My personality doesn’t match this. What if I was wrong about this whole thing and I chose nursing outside of God’s will?” This is only to name a few. To sum it all up, I just felt utterly defeated and I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, I went to the index in my Bible and looked up the word “confidence.” My search led me to Jeremiah 1:6-9 and I want to share with you what it says:
6 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” 7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. 9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
The Word of God comes alive for me when I’m able to see myself in its pages. I hope it does for you too. It’s comforting to see how relatable God’s followers are, how their imperfections don’t exclude them from being used by God in a might way. Jeremiah is being met with a calling from God that he believes is just too much for him to handle. Much like myself, Jeremiah was focused on the wrong things. He was focused on his own understanding of his circumstances and not God’s. He was focused on his own qualifications, his own strength, his own abilites, or lack thereof in his mind. What our eyes are focused on is vital, especially for those of us who are choosing to walk with God. Whatever we are focused on becomes magnified while everything else fades into the background-unnoticed. It’s much like when a camera focuses on an object while everything else around it becomes blurry. Same thing happens in life. Fixing our eyes on our shortcomings and our problems makes them look larger than life, even larger than God. This is because He then becomes blurry, fading into the background-unnoticed. Thankfully, God knew this and turned Jeremiah’s attention to the One deserving of our attention-Himself! God didn’t care about Jeremiah’s age because age doesn’t hinder His power in the slightest. He doesn’t just know us entirely, He created us! He didn’t just give Jeremiah words, He’s the reason Jeremiah has a mouth to speak! God doesn’t care about how much stuff I don’t know or how “small” I feel because He doesn’t want me to work, He wants to do the work through me. I asked God to lead me to where He wants me to be and I have faith that He’s done that. The Word of God says that God’s children are chosen and predestined to fulfill a purpose that conforms to His will (Ephesians 1:11) . I had faith when I was excited so my faith must continue and not disappear just because I’m scared to death. What He wants done will be done and there’s nothing that comes close to standing in His way. He would never call us to do something and not help us along the way. It’s not in His character. God will use each and every one of us if we let Him. He wanted to use Jeremiah to transform nations and kingdoms. Despite my fears and feelings, God wants to use me right now to be a nurse. Whether you know it or not, God wants to use you too.
So you may be in a situation that you feel is too massive or difficult for you to triumph over. You may be entering or exiting college and transitioning into a new chapter in life. You may be getting married and have no idea how to be a good spouse. Maybe you’re embarking on parenthood or have the godly desire to start your own ministry or business. You may even be in a place where you’re walking with God but not sure where He’s taking you. No matter what the situation is, look to God and His strength because He has power to do all things. He will lead you! He’ll lead me to help. He’ll give me the ability to study and remember what I need to know. He will help me grow. Choose with me today to be encouraged by our feelings of weakness. The power of Jesus Christ is shown through weakness, not when we are “strong” and independent trying to handle everything on our own. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong-2 Corinthians 12:9-10! Now where else in the world or above it are we actually going to be encouraged and thankful for our weakness?! The world wants us to hide them and put on this fake mask of strength and perfection while we kick and beat ourselves up on the inside. One of the gazillion reasons Jesus Christ is SO AMAZING. He beats following the world and its ways all day everyday.
Cheers to being weak!