I am a big proponent of "recommissioning" something I already have into something fresh and new. I like to garage sale shop, hoping to find just the right something which can fit into a little nook or cranny, "recommissioned" for its new work. There is something rewarding with taking something "old" and making it "new", isn't there? Have you ever been guilty of trying to "remake" something God has already made - "recommissioning" what he has already set forth as a particular "mission" for something in your life? I have! Somehow I just didn't understand how God could use me to do something, so I "remade" myself into what I thought he "needed" in order to fulfill the task he was asking me to perform. Wanna know how well that one went? You guessed it! Not so well! The problem is - I cannot remake what God has already made!
“Yes, I am God. I’ve always been God and I always will be God. No one can make anything from me. I make; who can unmake it?” (Isaiah 43:13 MSG)
There are some key elements about this tendency to want to "remake" what God has made which I think might just reveal a little about "why" it is we engage in this activity so frequently in our lives. First, I think it stems from a struggle with our inability to see ourselves the way God sees us. The creator of something knows it inside and out. There are no hidden "flaws" or little "quirks" he is not already familiar with - because he put each of them there. The nose we complain doesn't fit our face, the big toe which seems to be longer than most people's, or the grey streak forming in our hair - all are physical attributes put there by God himself. Why is it we cannot see them as the unique "contribution" of his handiwork? We somehow don't connect the care he took in creating us with these features with his tremendous love in creating us uniquely ourselves. God doesn't see the "big nose" or "too small nose" as a "flaw" - he sees it as "fitting" us. We want a different "fit" in some other areas of our lives, as well.
The physical stuff is only a small part of the "remaking" process we try to accomplish. We also try to "fix" our personality - we are too shy, too outgoing, too much or too little of this or that. So, when God commissions us for his purposes, we don't think we "fit" the mold of what is needed because we see what is needed as a totally different "fit". This brings me to the second reason we try to remake ourselves - our pride. We don't want to fail, so we don't try at all. Failure is part of life. If you don't believe me, how many of you are actually still crawling on your hands and knees today instead of walking on your two feet? In learning to walk, you probably failed a whole lot - struggling to remain upright when everything about the process of walking appealed to you, but seemed absolutely impossible! Pride did not hold you back then and it should not now! When God commissions us to be about the work of a certain task, we may "fall" a few times (failure). Yet, when we allow him to pick us up, stabilize us a little, and set us off in the right direction again, we find ourselves walking a little further the next time.
There is a close connection between the way we see ourselves and what it is we believe about our ability (or inability) to do something for God. Here's the truth - we don't DO anything for God - he has DONE it already! He just uses us as instruments along the way to reveal what it is he has already done! Looking at our passage, he states clearly he is the one "doing", not us. When we present our "inability" to do something, we are actually telling God we are relying on our own ability, not his. This is again a struggle of our perception and our pride. Two things which will always "limit" our "ability" in our own eyes.
God is the one who "makes" - we just are instruments to expose what it is he has "made". If we could just get hold of this truth, we might just struggle less with the "ability" part of the task at hand. Thinking back to the illustration of learning to walk instead of crawl through life, let's just consider a few things:
- We DESIRED to walk because we wanted a different perspective on things. If we continued to crawl, our world would be limited to the 12 inches we could reach. When we actually came upright and learned to walk, our world expanded to the next 24 inches! Desire goes a long way in helping us develop new perspective!
- We didn't CHANGE anything when we learned to walk. The ability to walk was always there, we just had to "grow into" it. There is something quite remarkable about growing into what it is God has made us to be already at the point he created us! We already possess all we need, we just need to learn to trust the creator and walk! Just sayin!