I am a perfectionist. I am also a terrible painter. When we moved into our house, every wall and ceiling in our entire home needed to be repainted. My husband let me start in the coat closet that would be seen by no one. That’s the only wall I got to paint in the whole house. He can now vouch for the fact I’m a terrible painter. I’m a terrible painter because I’m a perfectionist. I want to go over and over … and over and over … and over the same spot just to make sure it’s right. That isn’t the proper way to paint a wall.
Being a perfectionist isn’t a bad thing; it’s also not a good thing. Perfectionism can leave you feeling not good enough or unworthy to do the task you’re called to do if you can’t get it right. Perfectionism can also be a detriment when you find yourself playing the awful game of comparison. This last week I had the opportunity to attend a writer’s conference for a new series of preschool curriculum I’m writing. As I sat in the conference, I looked around and saw writers with many years of experience under their belts. I’m only in my second year of this, so often I find myself dealing with thoughts of being unqualified. In those moments, feelings of inadequacy crept in and I had myself convinced I could never do as good of a job as those around me.
As I drove home after the conference, further thoughts of inadequacy filled my soul. The devil has a way of doing that, doesn’t he? When you know you have been chosen for a task and you know God will equip you, he can always seem to help get the comparison game rolling.
You’re not qualified. You don’t have the experience. Your ideas will never be as good as theirs. Out of all the people in the world, why would God choose you?
As soon as the thoughts started inundating my mind, though, God revealed Himself to me. Driving down the highway, He painted a beautiful sunset that evening. Vivid colors, whimsical clouds, and a true sense of “If I can paint this sky … I can give you the words to put on paper.” I didn’t ask God for a sign that night. He graciously gave me one.
And, the thoughts deep within me changed.
I called you to this. I will give you the words. I will equip you. The writers joining you in this endeavor are good. I gave them a gift, as well. But, it doesn’t mean that they are better. They had to start somewhere too. Trust Me. I called you.
God doesn’t always speak to us in an audible voice. I’ve heard it a few times in my life. But, God will speak to you if you are looking. It might not be through a sunset or a rainbow. It might be in a timely song on the radio or a text from a friend at just the right moment. It may be a verse of Scripture you read that speaks to the very thing you are dealing with. It may be an overwhelming sense of peace that can only come from Him. It never fails, though. When you look for God in the details, He will reveal Himself to you.
I don’t know what you may be facing today. Maybe it’s something completely new and unfamiliar. Maybe it’s the monotony of another day. You may feel unworthy or unsure. You may be questioning. Can I ask you to do something? Trust God. Believe in His promises. He will never leave you alone. He will always equip you for the work He has called you to. He desires nothing but the best for you.
I will never be able to paint a beautiful sky. But, I know the One who created the sky. I can see Him in the details.
Do you need to feel God’s presence today? Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. And maybe, just maybe, He will paint a beautiful sky for you, too.