Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So, they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. Joshua 2:1
7:55 a.m.: Already? Great, I must have slept through my alarm. Again. That makes two straight weeks of not getting up before the girls, which means nothing will be accomplished this morning.
Are the bags under my eyes actually growing? Good thing I spent last month’s clothes budget on this new face cream. Ugh, my mouth. Oh, yeah, I fell asleep without brushing my teeth or washing my face again.
Now that’s good — another pound. So what’s one more added to the weight I have already packed on? And why do I even step on the scale after a night binging on leftover cupcakes?
“Where’s your diaper?” Oops, I forgot to put one on her before she went to bed, so she soaked the mattress. Not her fault. Mine.
Is it really only 8:00 a.m.? How am I going to make it through the day?
Too many of my mornings have begun just like the above sequence of actions and thoughts. I go to bed filled with excitement about TOMORROW, when I will finally check everything off my to-do list. TOMORROW I will start the diet, TOMORROW will bubbles over with productivity. But before my feet even hit the bedroom floor, the anticipation has gone, and my old friend, Inadequacy, joins me for morning coffee.
Last month I attended a conference with high hopes of my scribbles being published into a book. On stage woman after woman spoke with eloquence, their words bouncing off their tongues in a perfect melody of inspiration and humor. Their advice was poignant, hitting right at the core of my soul. “Know your season of life. God has a plan. This is HIS story and HIS time, not YOURS.” Upon hearing this message, words meant to fan the flame already burning in my heart, Satan pounced, ready to extinguish the light I was so eager to share.
“Lord, what am I doing here? Why did You give me hope about something totally unattainable?” I screamed into the pillow back in my hotel room, frustrated that I had wasted my family’s time and money on this impossible dream of mine.
Before drifting off to sleep, in the silence and stillness of that place and time, God moved in my heart. “Why do you keep trying to take over the reins? Do you really think that I am not capable of accomplishing great things through you? I know your heart, and your dreams and desires must be for MY glory, not your own.”
Sometimes the Lord must view me the same way I view my four-year-old after admonishing her for the hundredth time. My perception of success, is NOT God’s. Why do I let the Father of Lies convince me that I am a failure, that I’m aiming way too high? Just because I do not check off a long list of goals does not mean that I am not making a difference or impacting the Kingdom of God.
This is not the first time I have been like a caged hamster, running in circles on a wheel of emotions. My self-worth comes from monetary success, human approval, and tangible accomplishments and rewards. I talk out of both sides of my mouth — living for eternity on one side and getting all my “just desserts,” on the other. Satan, not God, accuses us, and we must always remember that. Feelings of shame, doubt, and worthlessness are Satan’s tricks to keep us in dark places, hiding our lights for Christ “under a bushel,” as the children’s song goes.
The story of Rahab is one of my favorite. That entire account — hiding spies, walls falling — is pretty exciting. However, God wanted us to know specifically about Rahab’s past as well her role in this momentous event. Twice the New Testament refers to her as “Rahab the Prostitute.” (James 2:25 and Hebrews 11: 31) It would have been easy for Rahab to hide behind her reputation, to make excuses for not being qualified to help Joshua’s men. No doubt she often despaired, perhaps believing that she was trapped in a sinful lifestyle, that God could never love or use someone like her. But Rahab did not allow Satan’s lies to paralyze her; through her faith and courage she enlisted in God’s plan to destroy Jericho and saved not only her life but also that of her family. Lest we forget another significant fact about Rahab, “the prostitute,” through her line descended both David and Jesus. God’s work. HIS story. Always.
Constantly feeling worthless sucks us into the dismal abyss of despair and discouragement. Walking in light and rejoicing in Truth takes daily commitment, more than a thirty-minute weekly sermon, a calendar verse, or quick prayer at lunch. There is real, ongoing spiritual warfare all around us, which is the primary reason we cease to press on to fulfill the desires God has placed in our hearts. To thwart the Enemy we must actively pray, read, memorize, and recite the Word of God and apply it to our lives. Yes, APPLY, as in live it.
Sister in Christ, if you wake up or go to bed feeling like a major underachiever, even though you earnestly desire and plan otherwise, then rest assured that I, for one, understand and pray daily for you. But not only you, I pray for the Church, the Body of Believers in Christ worldwide. You are loved. You have purpose. Place your identity and self-worth in the One who empowers you and me to do the impossible — in Christ alone.
I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me. Jeremiah 29:11-13