Who among us hasn’t felt inadequate to the task God has given us? I know I have. I do most of the time, actually. But that must be nothing compared to what Isaiah felt in this passage (Isaiah 6.1-8), coming face-to-face with God. Yet in spite of that terrifying sense of his own unworthiness, he says to God “Here am I, send me.”
It seems to me that the nearer we come to God, the more inadequate we feel. How can I possibly be up to the task of serving a God so wonderful, awe-inspiring, terrifying? It could be enough to stop us daring to even try. We can never reach a point of being worthy of God’s calling. And it’s that realisation that frees us up to follow the call. God does not call us because of what we can do, what words we can use, what power we have. He calls us in spite of our inadequacies. He works through us in spite of everything we can’t do. Because actually we can’t do anything unless God equips us for it. And so we follow his call, trusting that he will enable us to follow it.
It sounds a bit circular, but it isn’t – it’s the most liberating thing of all. We don’t have to be capable, strong, up to the job. Because God works in and through our weakness, our mess, our mistakes. And it is that realisation which enables us to say “Here am I, send me.”