I’ve dealt with that a lot in my life, that voice that says “You’re nothing,” supported only by 100% fact. I don’t have enough money to build a future for my family and my particular career path (or lack thereof) doesn’t have any future, and my prospects for something better don’t look good. Can’t make a home, raise kids, support my wife, and no real power to turn my situation around. That’s my nothing.
What’s your “nothing”? Is it that no one would ever love you, that you don’t have the looks, charm, or power to get the guy/girl you want? Or that no talent or success would ever earn your parent’s affection? Is it that you want to follow a dream, but don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to make even a baby step? Is it that you’re not good enough, haunted by failures and mistakes? What is it that makes you feel like you have nothing to offer, no power whatsoever? What’s the truest of these? What really makes you feel helpless?
Think about it, whatever it is. Hold it in your mind’s eye. Now hear this: that nothing, that lack, that black hole of ability make you absolutely perfect. Why is that? Because God does some of his best work with nothings.
Isaiah 43:19 says “I [God] will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (NKJV). It’s a short verse, and there’s a lot to miss if you just glance over it. Let me break it down.
Nothing in the wilderness contributes to a road. The wilderness is the antithesis of a road; roads are a mark of order and direction, but the wilderness is wild. And the desert is contrary to a river; the presence of a river makes you rethink even calling the place a desert. God is doing something that these two places have absolutely no power to do themselves. That’s what he does; he takes nothings and makes something impossible out of them.
God is in the nothing-transformation business. He created the cosmos out of nothing. He took dust and made it a human being. He took a rib and did it again. He took a quart of oil and made it into gallons (2 Kings 4). He took a couple loaves of bread and ended up with 12 baskets of leftovers (Mark 6: 43). he takes sinners who have no good deeds to recommend them and carries them to Heaven in his own name.
So if you think you’re nothing, that you have none of whatever “it” is that you need, remember: that’s the perfect place to be. When you are at your least, God can do his most.
What’s that you say? God won’t do anything through you? Why, because you doubt? Because you don’t go to church? Because you’ve made a few mistakes, or a lifetime’s worth? Because you’ve been God’s enemy? Because, in short, there is no reason God should help you? Are you telling me you have…nothing?