That is how I feel a lot of the time in ministry. It should have started sooner but I am a little dense, so when I arrived at Seminary I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on things. My calling was clear and I was motivated to jump into studies and ministry with both feet. Two things happened that changed my view forever. The first was meeting Dr. Bauer. He was teaching Matthew and as he taught I realized the vast expanse between his level of knowledge and mine. I was completely inadequate and ill-equipped for the ministry I had jumped into. The second thing that happened was my first church-related death. I walked into the hospital room and everyone looked at me for what I thought were words of comfort and hope. I was totally inadequate.
Over time I learned some things about inadequacy. The first thing I learned is that inadequacy is a good place to look up at God. In Revelation 4 we find worship around God's throne by a group of inadequate servants. They are worshiping around God's throne and John (a totally inadequate scribe) is describing a scene where only one is worthy of "glory, honor and power." They are all looking to Jesus and expectantly wait for what will happen next.
The second thing I learned about inadequacy is that when we realize we are inadequate we seek guidance, leading and help from a God who has a handle on what should/must be done. John says, "You created all things and by your will they existed and were created." That kind of God can give us leading during all times of our lives and can equip us for every good task He has planned for us.
Finally, I learned that my eloquence and perfect words were not what is needed in a hospital room full of hurting people. They don't need the perfect prayer, the perfect cliche' or the perfect preacher. They need Jesus, hopefully clothing and wrapping me in His presence as I come in and offer them the only adequate thing, Christ. They need a Jesus that listens to them, weeps with them, places a hand on them and uses every moment to start the healing process. They need mourning, grieving and stories shared through tears and laughter. They need a God who is so mighty that all of His children can stare death in the face and sing, "Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices." Paul wrote some great words on the subject ... "He said to me 'My grace is sufficient for you for power is made perfect in weakness.' So I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." [2 Cor. 12:9-10] ... I think those words say it all. Randy