Have you noticed that when you go to a theme park they have conditions to some of the rides? There are certain qualities or lack there of, that you must ‘possess’ in order to be able to get on that ride. For example, pregnant women can’t go on most rides, people with heart problems or severe back issues can’t go on the rides. The major one you will be most familiar with though is height. For all major rides and rollercoasters you need to be a certain height in order to qualify to ride. The measuring stick stands at the entrance of every ride and if you don’t measure up, you don’t go in – no questions asked!!!
Some of you won’t know what it feels like to be on the shorter side of life, but if you do know then you will also know that Rainbows End (New Zealand’s only theme park) is not a place ‘Where The Fun Never Ends’ – because you don’t get to go on the rides of endless fun when you just don’t measure up. Disneyland is not ‘The Happiest Place on Earth‘ or the place where dreams come true because your dreams are crushed when you step up to that measuring stick and you don’t quite meet the mark!
For most of us the truth is that we spend a lot of our time wandering, not through a theme park, but through our very own lives, feeling like we don’t quite measure up. There can be this constant feeling that we are not quite hitting the mark, we are not achieving the standard, not meeting others or our own expectations. Ever felt like that?
There is a man in the bible named Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was a man full of inadequacy. His story is found in 2 Samuel 9 where King David is looking for someone from the family of his good friend Jonathan that he can show kindness to. He finds Mephibosheth who was left crippled in his feet after being dropped by his nursemaid as a baby.D
We know that Mephibosheth was living in the house of Machir, son of Ammiel. He didn’t have a house of his own. In fact, the man whose house he was living in wasn’t even a relative, he was the chief of a tribe in service to both Saul and David. From this we can learn that he has a low station in life, much lower than you would think for a man whose grandfather used to be the king.
Then King David sent word and had him brought from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David and fell face down and lay himself down [in respect]. David said, “Mephibosheth.” And he answered, “Here is your servant!” David said to him, “Do not be afraid, for I will certainly show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall always eat at my table.” Again Mephibosheth lay himself face down and said, “What is your servant, that you would be concerned for a dead dog like me?” 2 Samuel 9:5-8 (AMP)
Mephibosheth believed himself to be so low in station that he describes himself as a dead dog. He gets low, face down to the ground and begins to reveal by his own confession his feelings of worthlessness and insignificance.
What is he saying? He’s saying, “I don’t measure up, I don’t hit the mark, I’m inadequate to be standing in front of you, let alone eating at your table”. He took out his measuring stick and he said, I don’t measure up, I can’t possibly sit there, I can’t possible partake in that meal. I am not good enough, I come with limitations, I have got frailties and inadequacies.
But I love the King’s response;
Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and to all his house (family). You and your sons and your servants shall cultivate the land for him, and you shall bring in the produce, so that your master’s grandson may have food to eat; but Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do according to everything that my lord the king commands.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons. Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house were servants to Mephibosheth. So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he always ate at the king’s table. And he was lame in both feet. 2 Samuel 9:9-13 (AMP)
This story paints for us a beautiful picture of the power of the King’s table to cover our inadequacies. Beneath the table he was still lame. These verses make that very clear – he always ate at the King’s table and he was lame in both feet (verse 13). He was inadequate, he missed the mark. But as he sat at the King’s table, the table covered all of that and he could sit there looking just like everyone else. Just as David’s kingly table covered Mephibosheth’s inequities, so God’s grace covers yours.
I believe that if we would allow ourselves to reposition where we do life, parenting and just plain ‘human-ing’ from, we could go from the measuring stick to the King’s Table.
Your limitation does not disqualify you, it simply qualifies you for His grace.
It gives you a seat at His table.
3 Things you need to know:
1. His Grace crowns us.
By His grace we are daughters of the King. He crowns us – and our identity (who we are) is found in that crown.
We don’t need to measure up, we simply need to crown up!
“It is only when you know whose you are, that you know who you are”. Lisa Bevere
“We must answer our inadequacy from our place of identity.” Charlotte Gambill
So when your inadequacy, your mistakes or your weaknesses try to tell you, “you aren’t pretty enough, smart enough, or worthy enough”, answer them from your place of identity in Christ; “I am the daughter of a king, adopted into his family through Christ, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am worth far more than rubies.”
Some of you need to hear this today: Don’t let your limitations define you. Let your limitless God define you.
2. His grace calls us.
I get the feeling Mephibosheth would have had pretty low expectations for his future before that powerful invitation. His disability would have, by culture’s standards, sat him out of the race. He was of no standing in society that benefited him enough to live in his own home – he lived off the charity of someone else. He was the last of his family and his family land and inheritances were, at that time, all taken from him. These set backs all meant something pretty significant in the day and culture of his time.
Some commentaries even say that prior to this invitation he would have been hiding from David, afraid that David would come after him perceiving him a threat to his throne because of his claim through his Father (Jonathan) and Grandfather (Saul).
Culture hid him but grace called him.
The funny thing is that the very reason he hid was the very reason his was called. His family connection was the reason he was called upon to sit at the royal table.
He wasn’t called because of anything he did or didn’t do. He wasn’t called because he had done something to earn his place at the table. He certainly didn’t work his way into that position of honour.
Some of you need to understand today that you are not called by worth you are called by birth.
His grace doesn’t call you because you have it all together and you are fully competent and can do all of the right things. God simply calls you because of the family name you receive when you are born again in him.
3. His grace carries us.
The beautiful thing about grace is that if grace calls you, it will carry you.
Remember the passage of scripture that underpins More Than?
but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My loving kindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (AMP)
In your situation, parenting, job, marriage, health, finance…
His grace is sufficient – it’s enough – it’s all you need. It will carry you!
If He has called you to it, He will carry you through it.
I did an interesting exercise a few weeks ago when I was doing my research for this piece of writing. I looked up the word inadequate in the Thesaurus. I looked up the antonyms and the synonyms. And what I found was just beautiful – who knew that God could speak His word through a thesaurus!
When I looked at the list of antonyms (those are the words that carry the opposite meaning to the word – in our case – the word ‘inadequate’). This was the very list I found:
Every one of those words has been made possible for you through Christ.
Now, go out there and live like you believe it!