My friend, may I ask you a question? Sometimes it’s natural to feel that we’ve arrived at the point where God could easily use us to be the evangelists we know he wants us to be. But does he sometimes make pretty drastic cuts and changes to who we are first in order to use us?
My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
Recently we went on a hunt for the perfect, fresh cut Christmas Tree. We drove out to our favorite tree farm, picked up our saws and wandered through the fields of balsams, spruces, firs and pines in search of the perfect tree. We all came home with a tree, the one that we thought was the best among the others. The trees, however, had to go through a rather brutal transformation before they would grace our homes. First, the bases of the trees had to be recut so that each would take water after being placed into a stand. The bottom 10% or so of the trees had to be trimmed in order to provide space under them for presents and a tree skirt. Then the top of each had to be slashed away to provide just the right perch for a Christmas angel. Finally, in the end, their natural beauty became secondary to to the facade of ornaments, lights and doodads that were placed over their entire width and breadth. What appeared to be the perfect trees out in that field were truly only visions of what each needed to become in order to be the perfected trees we wanted in our homes. Many drastic alterations were needed before that could happen.
As you and I grow in grace it’s natural to begin to feel that we’ve arrived at the point where God could easily use us to be the evangelists we know he wants us to be. God agrees, but not before he makes sometimes pretty drastic cuts and changes to who we are first?
Here’s a story: An English writer, once wrote a story about a janitor at St Peter’s Church in London. One day a young vicar discovered that the janitor was illiterate and fired him. Jobless, the man invested his meager savings in a tiny tobacco shop, where he prospered, bought another, expanded, and ended up with a chain of tobacco stores worth several hundred thousand dollars. One day the man's banker said, “You’ve done well for an illiterate, but where would you be if you could read and write?” “Well,”" replied the man, “I’d be janitor of St. Peter's Church in Neville Square.” (Bits and Pieces, June 24, 1993, p. 23.)
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:2 that each of us is called to be a saint. That sounds perfect, doesn’t it? The fact of the matter is this, we sometimes feel, just like that banker, that the road to perfection lies in some obvious path, when really the path is not all that obvious at all. Christmas trees out in the field appear to posses what is needed for perfection, but appearances are deceptive. They needed to go through some awful trimming first. You and I are no different. God will trim you and me, sometimes radically, before he is ready to place us into an evangelistic role. The path to ministry is thus often filled with in obvious but necessary divine trimming. It can be no other way when the demands of the job require it.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for recruiting us to be disciples in the cause of telling others about the love of Jesus Christ. Forgive us Father when we feel that we’re the ones to determine how and when to tell others about Christ, when all along we just aren’t perfected enough to do it. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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