You fit no matter how out of place you feel


This is the fourth of eight Mondays of Everything Fits Even When It Doesn’t. The Everything Fits affirmation is at the end of this post. You can subscribe on the upper right to get the series in your inbox. And if you know someone who would benefit, please share.

Don’t do what I do

But I’ll bet you already do.

I obsess over mistakes and failures and my dumb personality, then I compare myself to others, then I judge myself, then I get depressed. Then I think God feels the same way about me as I do.

All the while, God is obsessed with something much more important: my self-rule and self-sufficiency. He wants me to stop being my own boss and to stop trusting myself.

But, I just want to be liked and not make a fool of myself. I just want to know when to shut up. I just want to finally clean out the garage, cure my procrastination, and not drop the ball at work. I just want to stop dreaming more than doing; Oh God don’t let me be exposed like Molesley on Downton Abbey who could only talk a good game of cricket.

I would rather be a better person by my own definition than by God’s definition. When I obsess over shortcomings as if they were sin, I become my own God, inventing my own definition of sin. I make my shortcomings bigger deals than my self-rule and self-sufficiency.

I wish I’d get it all straight and get rid of my junk.

Yes I have junkie stuff. But I’m not junk.

Why does God love you?

Does he love you because you’re awesome and do great things?

Does he love you because he’s God and the Bible says ‘God is love’ so he has to do what the Bible says but it’s not really personal? And he sort of wishes he didn’t have to love you?

My friend Tony asks people who follow Jesus but feel unloved because they still mess up,

When God punished Jesus for your sin on the cross, did he hold back a little of his wrath and put it in his pocket so he could take it out and fling it at you the next time you messed up?

God loves things he created in his image. That’s you.

Right at the beginning of the Bible he says he created you in his image. Then he tells the very first people to be fruitful and multiply and exercise authority over their domain and to connect with others. This is part of his image and is your heritage.

You were not made to live a disconnected, non-contributing, helpless, depressed, excuse-filled, humdrum life. You were made to create, contribute, connect, and leave a mark. You have been specially wired and gifted to cover your specific assignment, your corner of the pool.

You are who you are on purpose

But you were made to do this in union with God, not on your own. When you don’t do it in union with him, then you look at other people, or you look for a list, to try to know what it looks like for you.

You want a familiar job description, like you see with others. With a familiar job description you’ll have an identity, and you’ll know who you are: an ‘author’ or ‘business owner’ or ‘singer’ or ‘pastor.’

What it your job description is unique, just between you and God, and is the kind of thing no one else will appreciate? What if your calling is for some crazy thing like a life of grace and patience that spreads in everyday situations, and maybe people notice and maybe they don’t? Does that count?

Do you know what happens to people who reject their unique job description and insist on doing what they’re not wired to do?

Why don’t you know anyone else exactly like you?

Do you know anyone with your exact combination of interests, experiences, fears, hopes, disappointments, passions, friends, and who also orders your exact favorite Starbucks drink?

Hot dogs and pencils are cranked out on an assembly line. Not you. You’re hand-made. One-by-one and one-of-a-kind. It’s personal. Own it.

If all the pieces of the puzzle were exactly the same, they wouldn’t fit. You have to be you to fit.

But who are you, a human  being, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ – Romans 9.20

Bigger than your faults

In Genesis 20 Abraham lies. He says his wife Sarah is his sister. He’s done this before. He’s afraid the king might hurt him to get to his wife. So the king thinks Sarah is Abraham’s sister, and takes Sarah into his house.

Later, God tells the king he is a dead man if he touches Sarah. This does not make the king happy.

He goes to Abraham and wants to know why he lied. Abraham tells him.

The king orders Abraham to leave, and gives him a passel of sheep and cattle and servants and money to take with him. He tells Abraham to go anywhere in the king’s kingdom that he wants — he gets to pick.

What? Abraham just got blessed big time. Even though he lied!

He wasn’t blessed because he lied, but despite it. Still, shouldn’t there be some consequences? Maybe not an angel of death swooping down or the earth opening up, but at least his pants should catch on fire. Anything but blessing.

This is mighty encouraging.

Only God knows everything going on, everything he’s doing, and everyone’s heart. He doesn’t have to turn over his sovereignty to some automatic cause-and-effect machine that he created. He can decide, case-by-case, the best way to bring about what he has in mind.

And apparently, when your heart’s right, if God has something he’s going to do and he’s decided to use you, he doesn’t have to let your faults stop him.

Which chunk of what you’ve read here means the most to you?

  • Don’t treat your junkie shortcomings the same as real sin
  • God loves you anyway
  • Embrace your unique wiring and job description
  • And don’t let your faults stop you if they don’t stop God

Next Monday: Everything in your life fits because it is engineered or permitted or governed by a sovereign, just, loving God

*   *   *   *

The Everything Fits affirmation. Each Monday we look at one part: 

Everything about my life, everything that happens

- the family I was born into

- the circumstances I have experienced and find myself in

- my personality and DNA and wiring and gifting -

is engineered or permitted or governed by a sovereign, just, loving God who always has three good things in mind

1) to develop my personal relationship and intimacy with him

2) to accomplish his purposes in the world, and

3) to further his own awesome, unmeasurable aims that are bigger than my ability to understand.

Therefore, whether it’s past, present, or future, I can have confidence and peace that somehow, someway, Everything Fits Even When It Doesn’t, and I will trust and cooperate with God in the fitting.    

About the Author

Gary

If you could take a pill that imparted encouragement and big picture perspective the whole world would change. In Charlotte, NC I try to help New Life 91.9 radio to be that pill. I also team up with my wife Brenda, and our daughters and sons-in-law, to try to dent the world with a bit of hope and encouragement.

  • http://twitter.com/theBossyMom Susan Hill

    Wow, wow, wow. Each week has been good, but this week? It kinda blew my socks off. I forwarded this to a friend that read them like a book. Continue to let God use you. You’re right on target. {And the ‘pants on fire’ comment made me chuckle out loud.}

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      Thx susan – have a great week

  • Christy FItzwater

    This is straight from God for my encouragement today. (I was just praying when I woke up that He would encourage me to write.) Thank you so much for this gift!

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      wonderful – thank you back Christy

  • lhoenigsberg

    ” I obsess over shortcomings as if they were sin.” Awesome! I never thought of it like that.

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      It’s a very common and very deceptive obsession — thank you

  • Debbie Petras

    Just the right dose of encouragement I needed this morning so thank you for that. Yes we are each uniquely created by God and as a child of God I know I am loved.

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      appreciate it Debbie

  • M

    I concur with Ihoenigsberg! I never really thought of it, that way before. In my life, there (always) seems to be someone who; has the “job” of reminding me about of my shortcomings, speak “death” over me, then cause more pain & confusion for me! I just want to be ME! More Christ-like everyday, but ME! THANK YOU G, for another wonderful, soul searching post! God bless you <3 M
    Ps. I like me, and love the way He made me btw:)

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      love that – thanks m

      • M

        Thx G…I just re-read my post! I didn’t realize that I wasn’t making sense:) lol!!! Omit the *of before shortcomings…blessings m

  • Nadine

    Which chunk of what you’ve read here means the most to
    you? Um, like – all of them. I was thinking how funny it is that we/I want to be special, but not too!

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      the ‘me monster’ is always ready to twist things, right nadine?

  • Pam Cason

    “Hot dogs and pencils are cranked out on an assembly line. Not you. You’re hand-made. One-by-one and one-of-a-kind. It’s personal. Own it.” Those words “own it” really stuck out to me this morning. I need to embrace who God has made me to be. All of me. Even the parts I don’t always like so much. Who am I to say to the ONE who formed me, Why did you make me like this? Thank you, Gary, for another thought-provoking post!

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      thanks for sharing Pam

  • mica

    Glad I was sent here, I like what you say and how you say it.

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      I like what you say too :)

  • debi

    So blessed by this :-)

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      thx debi

  • lyricpdx

    “Don’t treat your junkie shortcomings the same as real sin.” That is a horrible trick Satan uses on us and it is rooted partially, at least, in shame. I am hoping you write about shame, Gary.

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      I’m ashamed I didn’t write about shame :) Sure is easy to go there, isn’t it? Thank you

  • kelly g.

    I loved, “what if your job description is unique…” I understand that paragraph. That’s where I fit. Thanks Gary. I often describe myself as emotionally messy which is a close cousin to junkie stuff. So grateful for love that doesn’t measure me as I do. Kelly

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      I thought we were all kinda emotionally messy :) thx Kelly

  • http://profiles.google.com/rotation.wizard Carol H.

    What struck me the most: “And don’t let your faults stop you if they don’t stop God.” Along with: “God loves me anyway.”
    Now I just need to repeat this over and over.

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      I need to too – thanks carol

  • http://findingtheinspiring.com/ Angel @ Finding The Inspiring

    I read this post and so much of it jumped off the page. And then I read it again. Same thing. Just all of it, speaking truth, both challenging and encouraging me. Especially this: “when your heart’s right, if God has something he’s going to do and he’s
    decided to use you, he doesn’t have to let your faults stop him.” So thankful for the grace of God!

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      thank you Angel

  • Katie

    wow, love this! thank you so much. points me to Deut. 7:7-9, God loving us because He is God, because He sets his love upon us. so liberating!

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      gracias katie!

  • Adrienne

    I was led here from “Chatting at the Sky”. All I can say is W.O.W., this post describes me exactly! The following quote you stated is me to a T. “I obsess over mistakes and failures and my dumb personality, then I compare myself to others, then I judge myself, then I get depressed. Then I think God feels the same way about me as I do.” Thank you for this revelation. It’s one thing to think this way but then when you SEE it, another layer of freedom comes. Thank you!

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      I like the sound of layers of freedom. Appreciate it Adrienne

  • Pingback: Weekend Links

  • Claire@ALittleClaireification

    I really needed to read this today. So blessed by this post – thank you for writing from the heart. Claire

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      thx for being an encouragement claire

  • Rebecca Sarine

    amazing and thought-provoking post. thank you for writing and sharing.
    the part that spoke the most to me: don’t treat your junkie shortcomings the same as real sin. oh, i am not good at this. i am in progress for sure. i definitely obsess over them. that is probably the sin, not so much the actual shortcoming. yes, as you said, “i have junkie stuff but i am not junk”. and i should have my focus on trusting God. that is what he is really concerned about. just an ongoing battle for me.
    and today, i read what your daughter wrote–”may you truly see people and not wonder what people see in you.” together, those messages fit for me.

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      thank you for sharing Rebecca – appreciate you.

  • Pingback: this is so hard | one saturday morning