I’m inadequate. Insufficient. Deficient.
“I’ll tell you what David – that’s horrible! You gotta be a strong man or woman. The kind of person who eats nails for breakfast and concrete for lunch!”
Second or third grade. On “The Drag” in Austin (Guadalupe). Went into a store with my parents.
Pretty tame store, except for one poster. The poster had a scary muscle guy like the one pictured here. And it had what looked like a quote from the 23rd Psalm. It said:
|Poster in store on the drag had a pic
like this. He really is tough.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For I am the baddest dude in the valley (actually had a little profanity thrown in there).
Now even at that age, I knew that was NOT the 23rd Psalm. My first thought as a young kid was “Creepy…misusing God’s Word.”
My thought today is this: ignorant.
Follow my thinking here:
Let’s say you’re a big tough guy – muscles all over. Even your muscles have muscles. Men want to be you, women are posting you as their Man Crush Monday.
Are you tougher than prostate cancer? All the muscle in the world won’t stop it from killing you if you miss it.
How about a heart attack? You meaner than that?
What about an 18-wheeler that signals left and turns right, right on top of you? You badder than that?
“But I’m talking about MENTAL toughness David! I’m mentally the baddest guy or gal in the valley! What I can conceive, I can achieve!”
I hear you. And mental toughness is good. But not adequate. Will your mental toughness stop Alzheimer’s? Will your cranial super capacity stop a brain tumor? I don’t think so.
And we could go on all day about all the ways tough folks, strong folks, mighty folks, independent folks, fantastically awesome “captain of their own fate folks” die. And they all do. WE all do. There’s no such thing as a bullet-proof man or woman.
We are…inadequate. Insufficient. Deficient.
The Bible says in 1 Cor. 15:43 “Our bodies now disappoint us.” Who hasn’t had the experience of looking in the mirror ourselves and thought “disappointing”. And not just our bodies, but our minds, our thoughts, our desires, our actions. Everyone is inadequate.
You hear the name at Christmas: Emmanuel. Means “God with us.” And it means Jesus, born of a virgin, to live a perfect life, and die for the sins of the world.
And in a bigger sense it means God on our side and God inside of us. God who is completely adequate, for every moment; for our harshest hours and darkest days.
He is adequate. For whatever. We. Need.
But what about the man or woman who declares their inadequacy? The God who has deep, deep pockets says, “Whatever you need, I will provide.” – Philippians. 4:19.
Here’s the real deal on the 23rd Psalm. You should fear not evil. But not because you’re tough. Here’s why:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You (God) are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
I may be inadequate, but God is more than adequate. All the time.