Your shortcomings are not the hurdles to keep you from God. They are the vehicle to get you to him.

Did you ever imagine that the very worst parts of your life were the parts that God wants the most?

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand… And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here… Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
— Mark 3:1,3,5

God is not impressed with your good hand. That may be the hand we try to extend to him, but he sees the one that we are hiding behind our backs and says to us, “What’s in your other hand?”

The truth is that there is nothing in our other hand, yet we keep it tightly clenched. But he calls us to release. And to confess. And to stretch out our ugliness toward him. In doing so, we find that the crippled parts of us — the places in our heart we thought would never change — are healed.

When Jesus called the man with the withered hand, the man could have made a beeline for the door and avoided the whole humiliating scene. Who likes being called out for their deficiencies? Who likes having their inadequacies put on public display?

But the man chose to stay and to obey. And when the crippled man stretched out his hand, Jesus didn’t cut it off. He healed it.

When we stretch out our worst to Jesus, he will not turn his back on us, condemn us or lecture us. He will heal us. And, in doing so, he will reveal the most magnificent truth of all: that we are not hopelessly flawed individuals destined for a life of crippled existence. Instead, we find that, in him, our handicaps are the perfect backdrop for God’s amazing, abundant, incomprehensible grace.

In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Jesus is calling you to stretch out yourself to him. Are you willing?