I have offered myself to God over the last several years telling Him that if He wanted me to speak for Him then I would. He of course would have to open those doors and make it clear to me that He wanted me to walk through said open door. I prayed a specific prayer about this. I would not go knocking on those doors so someone would open one of them. No, this had to be by invitation only so I knew that God was indeed calling me to speak for Him.
Over the weekend I received said prayed for invitation. This is coming from my own home church but it is still an invitation. I wonder if you would allow me to practice (in written word) with all of you here at the table? It would help me to organize my thoughts and most of all, I pray it ministers to you.
As many of you may know, my husband is a master carpenter. He uses many different tools for his work. When the jobs differ, the use of a specific tool differs. He uses pretty much all of them on every job at some point. They all are equally valuable to him and they all get treated with the same tender loving care. They each have a particular place in his garage and/or work van. There isn’t one tool in his collection that he sees and says “I have no use for you”.
I cannot recall any given time that he left to go to work and came right back declaring he wasn’t’ taking his tools anywhere because they wouldn’t stop bickering about who was most valuable or most important or who was better equipped to do the job!
In the master’s hand, all of the tools are valuable, cared for and used according to the job they were designed and called to do. Now by the same token… I’ve never heard my husband come home and declare what an awful day he had because his tools simply refused to obey and do the tasks they were designed to do even though the end result was a beautifully crafted project that many people will benefit from. Can you imagine such a scenario?
My nephew-in-law is quite the artist and posts his art work on Facebook from time to time. He is very gifted and pays great attention to detail. Intricate lines and shading are woven throughout the piece. Where I’ve heard him mention how long a piece took or how many times he had to begin again, I’ve never heard him say that the paint, pencils or chalk simply wouldn’t produce the color they were designed to produce. Nor has he said the canvas just refused to display the art work he was trying to create. He too treats his artists tolls with love and care, valuing each one of them for their abilities.
I know I’ve mentioned my favorite verse in the bible as being John 9:3 which says “Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him’”. I love that this verse starts with the words “Jesus answered” because… well… Jesus always answers. Here we have a man who was born blind. He spent his entire life in darkness. He would have had an acceptable reason by our human standards to be angry and confused by his circumstances. He sat begging each day just to meet even his minimal needs. If we were in similar circumstances, we would most likely be frustrated and want to ask the all to popular question… “WHY ME?”
But ya know what? He didn’t. Jesus made some mud and placed it on his eyes and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. Without a backward glance, he went. No questions, no demanding an explanation, no refusal. He listened to Jesus telling the on-lookers that he was born this way so that Gods’ work might be displayed in him. Don’t miss the word “might”. This word means a polite request or used to say that something is possible. He had a choice! He could have chosen to not believe that Jesus couldn’t possibly make him see. After all, he was born blind. This was not restoring sight he once had; no, he was going to give the blind man sight he never possessed. If he chose to let it, Gods’ work would be displayed in a way that would make many a believer after seeing how the blind man who everyone knew, could now see!
The blind man allowed his situation AKA, his canvas, his tools… to be used to display Gods’ power. He didn’t ask to be paid for allowing it, he didn’t ask to be popular for allowing it, he didn’t ask to be rich and famous because of it. But he will be talked about forever for his choice to let Gods’ work be displayed in him.
Friends, we can make the same choice to let our circumstances be God’s canvas or structure to display His glorious power and divinity. Our divorce, our sorrow over a loved one passing, our financial struggles, our addictions, our disabilities, all of it can be used to display Gods’ work if we allow it too.
Ever go to a firework show at night? Ever try to see them in the day time? The glorious display of colors and brightness is seen better when darkness is the backdrop. Let God’s glorious colors and brightness be displayed through your darkness. Let His work be displayed in you?
On this Thanksgiving I’m so very thankful God has revealed this truth to me. I’m so thankful for all of you here at my table. I pray a special thanksgiving blessing over each of your thanksgiving tables this year. Take some time and list your blessings from this past year and share them with one another. That’s the best food of all. I would love to here your thanksgiving traditions and/or favorite dishes for our dinner. Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you?
P.S. You all have your dishes you prepare for thanksgiving I’m sure. Next week I’ll offer you a recipe to head into the Christmas season. My heart is with you all!