I almost always begin my day expressing thanks to God. I like to write out specific things I’m grateful for, anything from the cup of coffee and cozy room where I have my devotions to the remembrance of his many faithfulnesses the day before. It’s there, in my journal, where I pour out my heart to God, where I “make my requests known,” where I confess, where I repent. Sometimes, however, the awareness of my failures and shortcomings can have a paralyzing effect.
I was having one of those mornings when my scripture reading took me to Isaiah 6. Isaiah, in the presence of the Lord, became so conscious of his unworthiness that he cried, “Woe to me! I am ruined!” (verse 5). In response to his anguish, an angel took a coal from the altar of God and touched his “unclean lips,” declaring him free from guilt and sin (verse 7). It was then the prophet was able to say with utter abandon, “Here I am. Send me.” I was inspired….
Rather than continuing to focus on my inadequacies, I made an intentional decision to let the “coal” burn through my short-sighted vision. I asked, “Father, what great things do you have in store for us today?” A list of possibilities came to mind: invite some folks for dinner, send an encouraging note, cut a check for a missionary friend in need, treat someone the way I would want to be treated if I were in a similar situation. And that was just the beginning….It was amazing how, in the words of “Alexander,” the beginnings of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day was transformed into great expectations.
How much time and opportunity do we squander because we think we have nothing to offer? How long do we linger in shame and guilt when we ought to be relishing in our salvation? Don’t hesitate, my friend. When the Spirit says to your heart, “Whom shall I send?” join with this fellow imperfect child of God and let’s declare with Isaiah…
Here I am. Send me!