The other day, I was spending time with God and started to think about how my prayers are nothing special, that there are parts of the Bible that I have never read, that I do a lot of talking to God but very little listening, and that my worship is often full of distraction and unenthusiasm.
I told God that this is me, this is my devotion, these are my limitations. I told him that my growth has been slow and haphazard. That not a lot has changed in 20 years.
In that moment, God helped me realize that he was okay with my glacial spiritual growth and that he was more pleased with my willingness not my achievements.
Jesus is not measuring us on a spiritual scoreboard and judging our worthiness to be a part of his kingdom. Rachel Held Evans said, “This is what God’s kingdom is like: a bunch of outcasts and oddballs gathered at a table, not because they are rich or worthy or good, but because they are hungry, because they said yes. And there’s always room for more.”
I am learning to accept that my great spiritual gift is my hunger for God not my flawless devotion or holiness. And that this is all God wants from me.
I am echoing the father who brought his convulsing son to Jesus and said he believed in God’s power but he was also stuttered and broken by unbelief. I tell God that I am committed to him but my commitment often wanders and feels rudimentary and stilted. He tells me that I am his child, that he is preparing a place for me, that he has plans for me, that he is with me always, and that his burden is easy and light.
My worthiness for the things of God are not based on my achievement or activities for God or my flawless life but based on his love for me and my willingness to learn from him and follow him. Karl Barth says that Christian living can ever “be anything but the work of beginners.”
Sure, I would hope that after more than 20 years of committed Christian devotion that there would be a more robustness to my faith but even if there isn’t I know that God has still been pursuing me and still finds me worthy of his great blessing.
So I wake up and read my few verses, ask the same things, read another book on prayer, and make myself available once again. God hasn’t given up on me yet and in fact he delights in me.
He is delighting in you too and wants to take your grand or meager devotion to him and bless it and use it for his glory and your great benefit.