And quite often, it's something God calls on us to do. We feel we're not good enough. We don't have the tools or knowledge necessary. We don't have the courage or the strength. We're just not fit for the job God has put upon us.
These feelings of inadequacy can lead to feelings of helplessness, or hopelessness. The doubts and fears continue to pile up on us the more we believe we're not qualified or capable. Because of this, we may ignore the call. We may rationalize our lack of action by telling ourselves that perhaps God really wasn't asking this of us. Perhaps we misunderstood. Perhaps we just imagined it. Or, as I so often do, we may argue with God. We may flat out tell Him "I am not equipped for this!"... "You're insane to ask this of me!"... "Why do You place this burden at my feet when there are many better suited???"
In Exodus, chapter 3, God commands Moses to lead His people out of Egypt. Moses doubts his ability to this task, questioning God's calling on him. But God doesn't let Moses off the hook, saying "oh yeah, you're right... you're not fit. Go home." Instead, He tells Moses to do it, and adds a promise...
He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” (Exodus 3:12)
In the first chapter of Jeremiah, we find God telling Jeremiah that He has called him to be a prophet. Jeremiah replies that this isn't possible - he's only a boy. Again, instead of being let off the hook, God simply tells him not to use that excuse. God has determined Jeremiah will go speak to whom He commands, and of what He commands. But... He isn't some demanding boss just saying "I gave you this task... go do it, or else." And He adds a promise...
Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 1:8)
In Matthew 28, after Jesus was resurrected, He met with the disciples, telling them to go make disciples of all nations. This was a huge task, and I'm quite certain all the disciples, at one point or another, felt like they were not fully equipped to do what was asked. And yet again, a promise was attached...
...And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b)As followers of Christ, God calls on us. Some of the tasks we're asked to do are relatively simple, and we feel confident in our ability. But many times, the tasks we're called on to do will not be so easy. They will pull us from our comfort zone. They will be seemingly impossible to us. We'll doubt our ability, knowledge, courage, and strength to carry out these tasks. But, we can take comfort in two things:
1) We're not alone in having these doubts. Moses, Jeremiah, Jesus' disciples - they, too, doubted in their abilities to carry out what God asked of them.
2) God is with us through it all, just as He was for the men and women He called upon in the Bible. God's requests of us all come with the promise:
"I am with you always."