One thing that is definitely true about me is that I am very hard on and critical of myself. For whatever reason this has always been the case for as long as I can remember. I guess it has to do with my low self-esteem that I struggle with. With the pressure I and others place on myself it sometimes makes me feel that some things are unattainable. For instance "I will never reach that goal" or "My impact on others is inexistent", etc. I felt this recently one day while I struggled with insecurities and discouragements. I felt like I had not done a good enough job on something and that I had failed. Even though I had given my best effort and followed God completely at this point on the situation, I had not lived up to my own expectations, much less the possible expectations of others. So after some time of feeling discouraged I heard a quote by David Nasser that went something like this: "We are not called to perform miracles, but instead we are called to be obedient so that God can perform the miracles for us". How often do I put the pressure on myself to perform a miracle, when that is not what I was called to do. God has called you and I to obedience, and when we are obedient He takes our effort and performs a miracle with it. Not for our glory, but so that He is glorified in the situation. This was the definitely the reminder I needed that day, and every day for that matter. I need to be reminded that I can not perform miracles, but I am to be an instrument for God to point to Him as He performs the miracles. This does not mean that we sit back and do nothing, we still give our best effort. We just realize that it is out of our hands.
This reminds of me of many miracles in the Bible, but especially those in the book of Exodus. As God used Moses to lead the children of Israel out of slavery, many miracles were performed. God did use Moses to perform the miracles, but they were born out of Moses' obedience to approach Pharaoh and follow through on what God asked Him to do.
There are many things in life that I will never accomplish and many expectations that I will never live up to- set by myself and others. However if I am obedient to God and follow through in doing what He commands as I give Him my best effort, then He will perform the miracles. It is not up to me because it is beyond my capabilities. I am just thankful I get to be used as an instrument to bring Him glory. It is because of this that neither I nor anyone else should be hard on themselves or feel discouraged.