Last week, my four-year-old got some vaccines. He was brave and, despite his nervousness, didn’t cry at all. When we got home, I asked if he wanted to go outside and play. His reply: “Can I do that with my shot arm?” I told him it was worth a try. Throughout the day, I heard that same question a few more times. “Can I play toys with shot arm?”
“Can I eat that with shot arm?”
In the late afternoon, he had his third bathroom accident of the day which isn’t typical for him. I asked him, “Buddy, what’s going on? Why aren’t you making it to the potty?” His reply? “Wait, I can go potty with shot arm?”
Although it was a silly misunderstanding, it made me think.
How often do we assume things off limits to us because of our past? Grady didn’t know what limitations he had from shot arm, so he assumed everything was a limitation. Come on, we’ve all been there.
I can’t do a mission trip because _______
I can’t write a book because _________
I can’t talk to my kids about that because ________
I can’t share Jesus with her because ________
It’s just shot arm. Usually it’s a lie. It’s the enemy trying to keep us from being a part of something great.
Or it’s an excuse. ForGrady, having shot arm (in his mind) gave him a free pass from doing the hard work of going to the bathroom.
Something I always hear from parents of teens is, “I rebelled in high school and college, so I can’t really tell my kids they can’t.” It seems to me that if you have the scars from those years, you’re the most qualified to talk about it.
Having a dramatic testimony doesn’t disqualify you from testifying, it’s tailor-made for someone so lost they can’t see how a holy God could ever give grace to them.
I love that God chose some off the wall people to do huge things in the Bible. If it were me and I needed someone to approach Pharaoh I wouldn’t choose the guy with a speech impediment.
A king and slayer of giants? How about that shepherd boy.
A queen to save her people? Let’s use an exiled, orphan girl.
Disciples for the Son of God? There are some guys fishing over there.
This is why I don’t think we should fret over our insufficiencies. God is powerful enough to work through them. In fact, He even uses our insufficiencies so show His power.
Take a look at this passage in 2 Timothy:
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.”
2 Timothy 1:7-9a
Can I ask you a favor? The next time you start to think of all the reasons you can’t do something for God, say this with me: “It’s just shot arm.”
He’s got this. He has big plans for you. Despite your shots and because of your shots.