Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead.... God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED!
I wonder what qualifications we place on ourselves before we think we can be of use to God, or even to have a relationship with God. Perhaps the qualities that God is looking for are vastly different to what we would consider as important.
He also works within our flaws to bring us to a place of dependence on him, to a place of need and surrender.
Within that flaw, the charcoal tasting flavour that you can’t get out of your mouth, a seed of hope germinates.
You call back to your mind, as the writer of Lamentations says, the stableness of God’s faithful love for you. You that are flawed and fragile.
I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there's one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness! Lamentations 3:19-24 (The Message)
If you look at many of famously flawed mentioned above, God communed with them when they hit rock bottom. Their flaw led them to fellowship with a forgiving God. They discovered a new and real depth in their relationship with God and this percolated out to others.
Here is David’s cry out to God.
Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I've been;
my sins are staring me down.
You're the One I've violated, and you've seen
it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
whatever you decide about me is fair.
I've been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong since before I was born.
What you're after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean,
scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don't look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don't throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from grey exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I'll let loose with your praise.
Going through the motions doesn't please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don't for a moment escape God's notice.
Make Zion the place you delight in,
repair Jerusalem's broken-down walls.
Then you'll get real worship from us,
acts of worship small and large,
Including all the bulls
they can heave onto your altar! Psalm 51
Perhaps the greatest qualification needed is brokenness. Do you have a Certificate or a Doctorate?
Only suffering arouses the deepest thirst. Only uncertainty breeds stable hope. Only failure and fear escort you to the centre of your God-filled soul and will then release you to be the poem of God’s making. Larry Crabb
Image by Jeremy Stenberg Creative Commons Flickr
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