We met every Thursday after he lost his wife in a car accident. Sometimes he came with questions to which no answers exist; sometimes he came with memories he wanted to relive. Over time, he accepted that even though the accident was a result of the brokenness in our world, God could work in the midst of it. A few years later, he taught a class at our church about grief and how to lament well. Soon, he became our go-to guide for people experiencing loss. Sometimes it’s when we don’t feel like we have anything to offer that God takes our “not enough” and makes it “more than enough.”
Jesus told His disciples to give the people something to eat. They’d protested that there was nothing to give; Jesus multiplied their meager supplies and then turned back to the disciples and gave them the bread, as if to say, “I meant it: You give them something to eat!” (Luke 9:13–16). Christ will do the miraculous, but He often chooses to involve us.
Jesus says to us, “Place who you are and what you have in My hands. Your broken life. Your story. Your frailty and your failure, your pain and your suffering. Put it in My hands. You’ll be surprised what I can do with it.” Jesus knows that out of our emptiness, He can bring fullness. Out of our weakness, He can reveal His strength. - Our Daily Bread for today
There are, and have been, days when I have sat and wondered what God can do with someone like me. I am serious. Pay no attention to how I was born, with some not so obvious birth defects. Pay no attention to my upbringing, in a Christian home. Going to Church since before I was born. You know that none of that matters enough to save a soul?
As someone once said just because you walk into McDonalds it doesn't make you a Happy Meal. Proximity doesn't bring about real change in a heart and mind or soul.
I can point to a sunny day, a Sunday, when I publicly went forward after a service to give my life to Christ. I can't give you the exact date, that's maybe possible to get if I dug for it, but the important thing is I know it happened. The day that I asked Jesus to save me.
Some call that soul winning. To me it's acknowledging the truth of the extent of His love for me. I eluded to birth defects. Yes I have a few. As odd as this may sound to adults, to a kid, to read of how if you had those in the Old Testament meant you couldn't do a whole lot for God, it brought sadness. But to hear how, in Christ, I have none, it was quite amazing.
In Christ, I am whole. No defects at all. Perfect. Sin isn't a part of anything. I haven't seen that future me yet. It's a work in progress. After all I am His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that He has prepared beforehand that I might walk in them.
Jesus didn't abandon anyone after they were given life. Some, He knew, wouldn't make it in this world, so they have gone on to be with Himself. Others, through the agency of Satan, have been murdered only because they are the image bearers of God. That's what we are if you read it in Genesis. Satan will always try to twist, distort, and destroy anything of value to God. He will deceive and try to blind those who are Christians. He will attempt everything he is permitted against believers. Permitted? Yes. Permission is necessary for him to afflict a believer. Read the beginning of the book of Job.
Read also where Jesus says that a believer is in His hands. Nothing can go there that isn't allowed. Nobody can touch what is there without His permission.
To be honest, as always, there's been a great many times in my life when I wished I had went left instead of right, or right instead of left. Only after taking too many steps, had I realized I went the wrong way. Evidence being the results.
I am a work in progress. The best that I can tell all of you today who are struggling with life, who have come to Christ and are saved, is so are you.
If you are feeling down and depressed, and are a believer, take heart, Jesus knows exactly how you feel. He's been there. If life is all rosy and good, take heart, He knows how you feel, He's been there. Huh? Don't get too comfortable when life is going well. As I have used in illustrations in the past, a young tree doesn't become an old one by avoiding the storms of life. Trees that look grand because of age have easily fallen because of a single storm. It had no deep roots from the storms of life.
We too require storms to grow deeper in Christ. They aren't meant to discourage, they are meant to draw us into a deeper relationship with Jesus.
We are also going through things to become more Christ like in order to relate to those who haven't that we meet along the journey of our lives.
Names of people we can't seem to forget. There is a reason. To keep praying for them long after the moment in time that we knew them.
We may not see them again, but Jesus can and does. How awesome it will be to see them again in Heaven some day!
Sometimes too things don't go as planned in order to teach us to not rely on people but rather to rely on Christ. If even the likes of Moses, David, and other 'greats' of the Bible can have moments when they were more concerned about themselves than they did of God, you will too.
But, we have a Savior who understands. If we but repent and turn back to God, He will set us back on our feet. Clean us up, and get us on our way again.
I am in awe of what I have seen God do with my life. I have no idea what He will show me of what it really was doing for Him. Think about that. Your finite mind cannot grasp how far reaching your daily life goes when we do what we do for Him!
As another illustration goes. One small pebble at the right place changes the course of the raging river.
So today, keep in mind you don't know just what all you are doing for Him. Just make sure that you are doing what you are doing is for Him.
Start with prayer, with time in His Word. Develop that relationship with all your heart. Watch what Jesus will do with it.