Please do not refer to me as an expert. Merriam Webster defines expert as one with a special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject. Some of you are experts in your field, and I applaud you for your diligence in study and commitment. I prefer to consider myself as qualified by experiences-those familiar and perhaps different than yours; nonetheless have been taught lessons through them. Continuing to be a student of life, I invite you to journey with me, not as an expert, but learning from the Master who reveals all truth.
You might be thinking, “So you’re not an expert. What are your qualifications?” I plan to answer that and in that answer I implore you to ponder your own qualifications. This is not an exercise in building a resume, although that could be your starting point. God is building on your past by working in your present to guide you into your future. What uniqueness qualifies you to speak into another’s heart?
Our qualifications only tell half of the story. They may incite feelings or cause further discussions and study, but then again they remain personal stories to us. To be equipped must be in tandem with being qualified. Merriam Webster’s definition of equipped in verb form is 1) to furnish for service or action by appropriate provisioning or 2) to make ready. This equipping by God Himself is what sets us apart for action and service. One of my favorite passages in Scripture from Acts Chapter 4 tells of Peter and John before the Sanhedrin. The rulers, elders, and teachers of the law, also known to be the experts in that day, were baffled by the words coming out of Peter. Verse 13 NIV 84 says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Peter had not made the cut to study higher levels of education, so he fished for a living. And yet…he was both qualified and equipped. Peter lived life-a messy one at times, and his failures are recorded in history for all of us to see. Peter also spent time with Jesus-three solid years, in fact fishing instead for men. He was highly qualified in life. It is in the beginning of verse 4 that we see how Peter was equipped and made ready for service-“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit…”
So now having spent time with Jesus I also am qualified in life to speak about:
Being raised in a Christian home and finding Jesus at age 10-Becoming a Registered Nurse with an emphasis in Pediatrics and Obstetrics-Singing and discovering my heart for worship-Married for 28 years-Raising 3 sons as a stay at home Mom-Dreams altered when my firstborn was discovered to have Down Syndrome-Navigating school systems and IEP’s, various therapies and seemingly endless medical appointments and procedures-Corporate wife-Watching alcohol and other addictions steal my marriage-Adultery-Separation-Divorce-Court dates-Despair-Prodigal son-Financial hardships-Taking care of my elderly parents-Alzheimer’s-Hospice-Loss of parent. Yes I am qualified.
Without being sanctified, set apart, and equipped by the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, I’m just another story. Don’t let the words I say only be a source of entertainment or even just thought provoking. Find the truth in the Word of God and let Him equip you to share your qualifications. I assure you He is preparing you as well. Ordinary and unschooled is not a deterrent to being used by God. Spend time with Jesus and get filled up with the Holy Spirit. With Him, nothing is impossible.