I’m Inadequate

Have you ever felt inadequate? Have you ever felt that you just don’t measure up, that you are just not succeeding at anything in life? I have. As a matter of fact, I’m in the midst of that feeling right now. I’m feeling inadequate as a father, a husband, a provider for my family. Mostly, though, I’m feeling spiritually inadequate. This feeling has just come at me out of nowhere. In expressing these feelings I had someone tell me that a feeling of spiritual inadequacy may mean that the Holy Spirit is at work in me. Could that be true? Could the Holy Spirit be truly at work in me? Yes, I do believe that the Holy Spirit does work in me, but why the feeling of spiritual inadequacy with it?

I took these feelings to prayer. Even though I schedule time every day to spend in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I went early today. I just had to get in front of God and ask Him about this. I also took my bible today, something I don’t normally do. So as I was pouring out my heart to God and the tears were flowing down my face, I felt the overwhelming sense that I should pick up my bible and read the Book of Jeremiah. I opened my bible to the first chapter and this is what I read:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you. “Ah, Lord God!” I said, “I know not how to speak; I am too young.” (Jeremiah 1:4-6)

I can feel what Jeremiah is going through. He felt inadequate as I do. It makes me feel better knowing that a prophet like Jeremiah struggles with the same things I do. It makes the scriptures more real to be able to relate to their struggles. God has an answer for Jeremiah. He has an answer for you and me, too.

Say not “I am too young.” To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Have no fear before them, because I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. Then the Lord extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying, “See, I place my words in your mouth! This day I set you over nations and kingdoms, to root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant.” (Jeremiah 1:7-10)

We all are inadequate. None of us measure up. We must rely on the Lord God to “touch our mouths” and give us the strength to do what He wants us to do. It is through the power of God–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–that we become competent. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to measure up.

Maybe the Holy Spirit is at work in me. What He is up to, I don’t know. Only time will tell. Until then, I give it all to Him.

Published in: on July 8, 2009 at 7:04 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yes, I very much feel like this…especially right now. You are doing well to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament daily. This will help you. I seem to gain a lot when I can do that, too. But it is still a struggle.

    I remember a homily from an odler Monsignor (who is now deceased) many years ago who said "we are all so inadequate…" I never have forgotten it. It brings me back down to earth when I get too prideful. Best Wishes!

  2. Such a helpful, and humble post. Thank you!

    It strikes me that your feeling allowed God to speak to you by prompting you to take action (finding the reading in Jeremiah). Would that we all might respond to the Holy Spirit's prompting.

    God bless.

  3. Dear Tim,

    You are certainly not inadequate. Yes we sometimes feel that way – but we are made in the image of God. And He is NOT inadequate. By the looks and reflections of your blog, I would say that you have it together! My own history is full of ups and downs, now I am on the road, God willing, to diaconal ordination.

    God bless you – I am glad I discovered your blog.

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