Friday, March 23, 2012

Lenten Reflections - Being Good Enough

Isaiah 6:1-8

"I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.' At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 'Woe to me!' I cried. 'I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.'

Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, 'See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.'

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"

I found myself reading through this passage of Isaiah this morning as part of my devotions for Lent. My first thought was that God was speaking directly to Isaiah when He said, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” But I realized that Isaiah only overheard God while He was calling out to these bizarre flying creatures that surrounded him. What's a "seraph" anyway?  It was Isaiah that took the initiative to answer God’s call. Isaiah wasn’t forced into serving God. No one twisted his arm or made him feel guilty. He only heard the call of God, realized that the stakes were high and answered. No questions asked, just “Send me!

How often do we find ourselves thinking that we are just not good enough to serve God? How often do we think that others are more qualified? How often have we thought that our past failures or screw-ups keep us from being used by God?  We can see from scripture that Isaiah wasn’t good enough. He wasn’t necessarily ready. There may have been others more qualified. But God revealed to Isaiah that the only requirement for serving Him was something we often forget: being available.

God needs people who will readily answer the call simply because it is Him who asks. And He doesn’t need us to pass a test first and He doesn’t want us to dwell on our past failures. He wants imperfect people that will humbly receive His forgiveness, and impulsively and radically answer, “Send me!” God isn’t looking for ability, as much as He is looking for availability. As we celebrate Lent, let us meditate on what it means to be available, and answer when He calls, regardless of the cost.

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