GIFTING THE CALLED
My good friend, Rich Melheim, often says, “God gifts the called, rather than only calling the gifted.” In my brief time as a pastor, I have found this to be true. I have seen people, who may not be an obvious choice, find that in taking on a new challenge, rise to the occasion and become the right person for the job.
A BIG MISTAKE
I remember a youth named Kevin, who was a pretty fair student, but not the kid you would go out of your way to ask to read or recite something in public. He happened to look a bit like Patrick, who was one of the kids in our youth group who was a state champion in Forensics. One of the pastors who was in charge of an event we attended, asked Keven, mistaking him for Patrick, if he would get up in front of hundreds of youth and read the Gospel during worship. Kevin was stunned. Before he knew it he found himself saying yes. Actually, it was more like, “I guess so?” What happened next was Kevin reading and rereading the Gospel lesson all afternoon during free time. While the rest of us were out having fun, Keven was inside focused on trying to get through it without screwing it up. That night at worship, Kevin’s effort and focus despite his nervousness, probably went unnoticed by most. He did fine. Our youth group noticed and started to see him differently. His confidence grew and he felt great about it. It became a bit of a turning point in Kevin’s life.
GOD DOESN’T WASTE ANYTHING
One of the ways God empowers us is to turn the hard and hurtful events in our lives into experiences God can use. Having been through divorce, I cam empathize with those who are struggling with the end of their marriage. I have come to realize that relationships are complicated and that there are plenty of forces in our world that tear love apart. God offers healing of our brokenness so that we can also be healers in the world. God puts a special compassion in our hearts for those who suffer what we have suffered. When we open ourselves up to this, it in turn continues to heal the hurts we have suffered. In Isaiah 40:31 it says, “but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Maybe the word, “wait.” could be exchanged for those who “patiently suffer,” or those who have “endured much.” ”This is one of the ways God empowers us.