“Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the kingship of Narnia?” said Aslan.”I- I don’t think I do, Sir”, said Caspian. “I’m only a kid.”
“Good,” said Aslan. “If you had felt sufficient, it would have been proof that you were not.”
This was my daily reading a few days ago. The question ‘do you feel yourself sufficient?’ suddenly struck a chord with me. It was as if, Aslan (or God) himself were asking that question to me… For those of you who don’t know, over the last few years I have been on a process of exploration toward ordained ministry in the Church of England, and this has been a question that I have often asked myself – and it has been a question which I have often used to help me run away. The more I began to explore the call that I thought God was placing on my life, the more I allowed my insecurities, my narrow-mindedness, my weaknesses to get in the way. To stop me from moving forward.
I have struggled with issues surrounding self-esteem for the last 3 or so years. My lack of confidence in myself, and my own abilities/giftings has hindered me in so many ways. But this question ‘do you feel yourself sufficient?’ is one I have come face-to-face with several times. It is one that I come back to, again and again. For a long time, I knew that I had these insecurities, I knew that I lacked confidence, and I (falsely) believed this was the way things would always be, so I carried on, with that British ‘stiff upper lip’, pretending everything was fine. Until one day it hurt too much… The best decision I ever made, and probably the hardest, was to admit to a trusted friend what was really going on.
Since that day, I have lived in the promise that ‘strength is found in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9). I have discovered, and more importantly accepted the things that make me ‘me’ and I have allowed God to reveal who he has made me to be. And now, I approach life, and particularly my calling toward ordination differently. Yes, I still struggle. And no, I don’t have it all together. But each day, I asked God to re-assure me of his love; to remind me of his faithfulness; to re-new his strength within me.
And now, looking toward the future, and discerning with others, what God is calling me to, I am once again reminded of that question. ‘Do you yourself feel sufficient?’ And what God tells us here is that it’s ok for the answer to be no. In fact, it’s better if the answer is no. Because in that insufficiency, God can work. Don’t let your insecurities hinder you, don’t hide behind your fears, but trust that God can do great things through those who love him (Romans 8:28).
Before I moved to London, someone said to me ‘if you want to walk on water, you have to have the faith to step out of the boat’. That phrase has stuck with me ever since. What’s holding you back today? As we spend time, this Lent, deepening our relationship with God, ask him to help you.
The best thing you can offer to the world is yourself! So be confident in who you are, because that is one amazing person! And allow God to work through you – molding and shaping you into the fullness of who he is calling you to be.