Problems = Potential

In our staff meeting today, we were talking about leadership styles and drawing some thoughts from a book one of our staff members read called Jesus CEO.  Part of the time was spent talking about different leadership styles, but then we talked about “wilderness experiences.”  We were all asked to think about a difficult experience we have gone through that has helped us identify our gifts.

As we were talking, I thought about a chapter out of Mark Batterson’s In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day.  I read this book a few years ago and am re-reading it now (review coming soon).

In one of the chapters I read over the weekend Batterson wrote this:  “I have a theory:  The more problems you have, the more potential you have to help people.  One of the most paralyzing mistakes we make is thinking that our problems somehow disqualify us from being used by God.  Let me just say this:  If you don’t have any problems, you don’t have any potential.”

All of us have problems (most of which I’m sure we wouldn’t post in a blog), but it was reassuring that in spite of our problems, God still sees potential in us.  Rather than allowing our wilderness experiences to force us to feel disqualified, we can see them as tools God uses to refine us.  Think I’m still learning that one.

Is the Lord’s Arm Too Short?

My reading plan on YouVersion has me in the book of Numbers.  I have been reading about the setting apart of the Levites, the jobs they were given to care for and serve in the tabernacle and how the tribes of Israel were to camp out and then move out as they followed the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night.

It is a pretty amazing thing to try to pictures the hundreds of thousands of Israelites moving out by tribes under each ones banner as they followed God’s leading.

In Numbers 11, the people start complaining.  They have manna to eat every day, but now they want meat.  Moses is so tired of bearing the weight of their whining, he turns to complain to God about the people’s complaining.  To support Moses, God has him select 70 of Israel’s elders to assist Moses in caring for the people.  And He promises to give the people meat.

But not just meat for a day.

Not just meat for a couple of days.

Meat for a whole month – so much that it comes out of their nostrils (that’s really what the NIV says) and they begin to loathe it.  God basically says, “You want meat?  I will give you meat!”

Moses isn’t so sure.  Even though God brought 10 plagues on the nation of Egypt, lead the people through the Red Sea and wiped out Pharoah’s army, he isn’t sure God can come through.  He sees 600,000 men on foot and wonders if God can provide meat every day for all of them for a whole month.

Then God says, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

God is able.  He is more than powerful enough to do what He says He will do.  And I was glad for that reminder today.

The last few days have brought some frustrations, challenges, difficulties…stuff you have to deal with on a pretty regular basis.  Like most people, I can get impatient and run ahead of what God may be doing.  Then I have to ask, “Is the Lord’s arm too short?”  Can He handle the stuff you and I deal with?  If He can feed 600,000 men meat for a month that is comes out their nose, my problems aren’t that big of deal.

Take some encouragement today that God’s arm is not too short.