I want to tell you about a time I was feeling inadequate.
Because maybe sometimes you feel like you’re not ________ enough. Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. Not wealthy enough. Not popular enough. Not accomplishing enough. Not holy enough.
You and I probably fill in the blank differently, but we all want to be enough. And it hurts deeply when we feel that we are inadequate.
I was Feeling Inadequate
It was a spring day two years ago that I was struggling with feeling that I was not accomplishing enough. I knew better but my self-esteem was sagging. My sense of purpose was fuzzy. So I went on a personal retreat at the Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, CA. I set aside a day to be with Jesus in solitude and silence, to walk and talk and sit and pray with Him.
Being quiet and alone with God was bringing up my inner distress. (That’s what happens when we slow down and get still to pray, which is one reason we tend to stay busy!) So I was crying out to God about feeling discouraged with the struggles I was having and my unfulfilled desires and dreams for serving Him. I was falling into the rut of comparing myself to other ministry leaders and falling short, feeling inadequate.
This was a day of prayer that I needed! I was desperate to reconnect with God and hear his voice. The important point here is that I realized that I was desperate for God. The truth of the matter is that you and I are always desperate for God and his words of life, but most of the time we don’t think we are desperate or we forget.
God’s Words are Blossoming
It is only because of the living Word of God – the holy words revealed in the Bible; the voice that is continually speaking in thoughts, images, and impressions; the Word made flesh in Jesus Christ – that we can continue to “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
God creates and sustains all life through His words. God’s communications are not just true, they are real; they are reality. God’s voice to us is like the manna that fell from heaven in the desert wilderness and the Israelites ate it and lived off of it for forty years.
So I was walking and I was pouring out my heart to Jesus. And He began showing me what a glorious scene He had created for me to be in with Him: the sun was shining on us, the birds were singing over us, and we were walking along a path that cut through a valley filled with wildflowers.
I felt impressed to stop and really look at all the wildflowers in front of me, to meditate on God’s creation. I recalled Jesus’ words that I had meditated on many times:
Do not worry about your life… Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving (Luke 12:22, NIV 1984; Luke 12:26-29, MSG).
There were so many wildflowers! They were so colorful! And they were just there because God wanted them there. No person had planted them. God sent breezes and birds to scatter seeds and he sent rain and sun and grew the flowers.
Thousands of people drove by this valley every day just a block from where I was standing and yet very few of them ever walked over to appreciate these flowers. And even those hikers like myself who did notice the wildflowers how many paused to give thanks and praise to God, our Father?
God Speaks: “Just be my Wildflower!”
Then God showed me a single wildflower surrounded by thousands of other flowers. I sensed Him whisper to my heart words that spoke His life into me and renewed my soul. He healed me from the emotion-based conclusion that I was somehow inadequate. I believe his words are for you too:
Be like that flower before Me. See how beautiful it is? See how happy it is? And yet it is lost in a sea of color and fragrance.
No one has ever laid eyes on that flower alone – those who stand where you are might see the whole field of wildflowers, but not this particular one. You say that this flower does not stand out, that it’s not special. But I appreciate this flower! It is beautiful to Me! And it is joining with all the other flowers in this valley to communicate My goodness and love to those who come near.
Just be my wildflower!
I often thank God for that wildflower and I remind myself to bloom where I am planted for God – even if no one else seems to notice. That’s okay. I am not inadequate because my Father in heaven notices me lovingly I can hold my head high and smile in his sunshine!
Let’s Pray to Be God’s Wildflower
Later I found that wildflower in Psalm 103! What a sweet time of Scripture meditation I had. It offered me spiritual fortifications against falling into the black hole of feeling inadequate as a person. As I meditated God inspired me to write a special little prayer poem called, “God’s Wildflower.” May it come true for you too!