Like Wrestling An Alligator

I doubt that you have ever wrestled an alligator. I sure haven't. But I have wrestled with doubt, and sometimes I think the gator might be an easier opponent. In this devotional I share my experience with doubt when I first felt called to write and speak. Would God use an imperfect woman / wife / mother like me? The answer was yes, because, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
I doubt that you have ever wrestled an alligator. I sure haven't. But I have wrestled with doubt, and sometimes I think the gator might be an easier opponent.

When God led me to begin stepping out to write and speak, I immediately started trying to get my life together. Because we all know that God can't use an imperfect woman in an imperfect marriage, raising imperfect children, and keeping an imperfect house, to minister to other women.

The problem was, no one cooperated with my Let's Get It All Together Plan--including me. My faulty thinking went something like, "When all these issues in my life are finally right, then I can move forward with what God is asking me to do."

Well, God didn't wait for me to get it all together. He began to open doors--and I began to wrestle with doubt.

The problem was I could not fathom how a perfect God could use someone so far from the mark--we're talking not even close, people!

I was placing my faith in my own ability to meet lofty goals of perfection, when all God wanted was for me to do was obey Him and allow His grace to move--in my life and through my writing and speaking--in spite of my imperfections. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says it perfectly:

My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.

The truth is, I'm a flawed woman. Though I love Jesus with all my heart, I have not arrived. That used to freak me out. Now, I figure if God is good with it, I can be, too. That doesn't mean I willfully sin. It just means that as I go forward (and occasionally stumble), I can relax and trust that God knows what He is doing--because my heart is to do the right thing, even though I sometimes fail. (See Romans 7:15-16)

I still occasionally wrestle the doubt gator, but I'm making progress. And I'm continually humbled and amazed that God uses this imperfect woman.

How about you? Do you ever wrestle with doubt? Is there a specific thing God has put in your heart but you resist--because you doubt?

Lord, when I recognize my own weakness and ineffectiveness help me not to be discouraged or doubt, because Your power works best in weakness. Lord, may Your power, love, and goodness be showcased in me, not because I am able or gifted or having a good day, but because You are mighty and You are awesome. You are able to use me not because I am perfect, but because You are. Thank you, Lord for working in and through my weakness. In the awesome name of Jesus, Amen.


Clella said...

Julie, Oh I know where you are coming from. I still wrestle the alligator of fear, but know that my God will supply all my needs...sometimes I just forget. thanks for this reminder.

Leslie Basil Payne said...

This makes me think of Jacob who wrestled with the angel to receive God's blessing. Jacob got the blessing, but was left imperfect with a limp. Jacob was blessed and used by God, but his limp always reminded him he was just a man.

Cheryl Barker said...

Oh yes, Julie, I've wrestled with doubt in more ways than one -- even something as basic as doubting my faith. And just this weekend, I've felt like one imperfect mess. Thanks for this encouragement! (And good luck with the wedding!!)

Kimberly said...

Well, I have never wrestled a real gator either, but I have for SURE wrestled the doubt gator!

I was just telling my husband about a dream I recently had. I am going to be speaking at my church in August, and I dreamed that my pastor came up to me and told me he had changed his mind about it...that he had found out I wasn't who he thought I was. Hmmmmm...inner doubts showing up in my dreams?

SO thankful He uses imperfect gals like us. I think someone needs to make a purse or a suitcase or maybe even a pair of boots out of that bothersome gator! ;)

Hester's Heart said...

Amen Sister! I really like this post Julie! Bless you and enjoy your family and this special occasion.

Love, Hester

Jeannette Duwe said...

Well, I for one, can certainly appreciate that... And, I think we women are wired to try to get all our ducks in order before we dive into (fill in the blank) project! Those in-between times when we are waiting on God, and when the circumstances don't make sense (as you so beautifully illustrated) also are famous producers of doubt - look no further than the Israelites. Oh yes, how I can relate!! Thanks for the post! I hope you have a beautiful weekend of celebration! May the Lord bless your family!

Barbara Koob said...

Oh gosh Julie! That gator of doubt has taken a few bits out of me too. But I have to tell you I love that scripture that His grace is made perfect in weakness. Have a wonderful time with your family wedding! xoxoxo

AmyAlves said...

Good Evenin'from Maine sister Julie! This encouraged me as God has directly spoke these same words to me also! And if He used "perfect people", He wouldn't use any people... ;) Keep speaking and writing sister! ~ Blessings, Amy

Rachel Beran said...

I, like you, have spent time waiting to reach that "got it all together" place, thinking that I had to be more perfect before God could use me. I'm so glad that He is showing me more and more that He can use me right where I am...and keep growing me in the process. He's the ultimate gator wrestler! :)

Thank you for your honesty and always prompting us to More.

Happy celebrating!

Anonymous said...

I have handled alligators as a job when I was younger. It can be crazy scary
Also fun at times though. Doubt ......that's a BIG word!

Anonymous said...

I was an alligator handler. I loved it!
I never wrestled one though
I have had my ups and downs
I have lots of gators I wrestle with.

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