He is counterintuitive.
When He builds His kingdom, He uses the strangest items: mustard seeds (so small), water (so pedestrian), remnants (clothing castoffs), leaven (not the bread but the bubbles that expand it), salt (elemental).
And yet, we think that to serve Him, we must expand ourselves, make ourselves important and large and great in order to be “used” by Him. How odd that we build platforms to the sky, towering as high as Babel, when He is the One who should be platformed.
We praise the able, applaud the winner, herald the hero.
But we misdirect that praise, aiming too low at man and achievement. Instead we should praise the Author, applaud the One who appeared to fail miserably (the cross), and herald our true Hero, the Resurrected One.
We forget that He is not after our prowess, but our powerlessness.
We run away from our weakness, our wounds, because we wrongly think that these repulse Him, that those very things eliminate our usefulness. What a lie we have believed!
Augustine said it stunningly: “In my deepest wound, I see Your glory and it dazzles me.” Julian of Norwich wrote, “God sees the wounds, and sees them not as scars but as honors.”
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Friend, as gently as I can articulate it, please hear me: the enoughness of God is enough for you, no matter where you find yourself today. Give Him your small things, trusting Him to grow the tiny seed into something tree-like, planted by a deep riverbed. God causes the growth. God gets the glory when we realize it’s all Him.
Remember, apart from Jesus, you can do NOTHING.
Not a thing.
So quit discrediting yourself because you walk wounded. Quit believing that God only uses those other capable, famous, big folks for His kingdom. It’s simply not true. He notices your faithfulness, those crying prayers you eke out in the wee hours of the morning. He sees your dreams for His kingdom, God-sized dreams, and He longs to bring them to fruition.
But He seldom obeys our timetable.
He seldom does something we expect.
We need to let God be hilariously creative in our midst. He may have done things one way ten years ago, but if we make “that way” a method or an expectation, we hinder the work of our creative Creator. Let God be new. Let God innovate. Let Him take the reins (in other words, let Him reign.)
Don’t despise what you see as small or insignificant or beyond repair. I am all those things (or I thought so), but then I realized that God is doing a brand new thing in my midst. He’s taking the broken, wounded parts of me and making me sing.
Not so I’ll praise my proven method of getting blessed.
Not so I’ll point to my own abilities.
Not so I’ll revel in my awesomeness.
But so I’ll humbly say, God did it. He gets the glory.
It’s okay to be broken. In fact, I’d argue brokenness is the very avenue God uses to revolutionize this world. It’s when we realize that our pain is the dance floor He uses to advance His kingdom.
So, all you people of the seed, water, remnant, leaven and salt: take courage. Your God will be wildly creative in your midst.
He’ll take the small seed and grow it beyond your wildest dreams (for His purposes that are often much higher and crazier than you expected).
He’ll turn hydrogen and oxygen into dazzling wine.
He’ll sew that remnant into an heirloom quilt that covers the shame of the broken.
He’ll expand the flour from one cup to a loaf that feeds a family.
He’ll take that salt and season those who have lived flavorless lives.