So I'm going through Ephesians 4:11-16 with my youth group, trying give them a preview of what to expect and strive for in the year to come. Last week was verse 11, which explains who the gifted leaders God has given the church were and are. This week we got into verse 12 (if you think I'm moving a little slow, I know about 10 highschoolers who probably agree with you - still trying to find that balance of being a faithful expositor and an effective and engaging teacher). Verse 12 tells of what these leaders are to be doing, namely "the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ". Halfway through trying to explain this to the youth group I had a horrible realization. That guy that I was talking about who is put in a position to "equip" the saints is me. The guy I see in the mirror every morning (or at least those mornings where I have the time and willpower to actually practice hygiene). The guy who can't say 10 words without hurting someone or at the very least not healing anyone with my words. The guy who still picks his nose. The guy who...the list grows with each day.
In Greek, the word for "equip" means to "perfect" or "make complete". That's a lot of work for a very imperfect and incomplete smelly man to undertake.
I began to get very tired.
I'm still very tired. Although God's beginning to give me the courage to believe that He can show His power even through damaged goods like myself. And I think this discouragement and loss of faith in myself is going to continue. It must. I must be broken down before God builds up. It's just that sometimes it seems like both are going on at the same time and that's so hard to wrap my soggy brain around.
So, if there is anyone out there reading this, even if it's just you mom, I'm begging you, please lift me up in your prayers. Pray that God would continue to help me die to self and that He would give me the stamina, wisdom, courage, and love that I know I don't have.
For His glory, By His grace,