God brought forth the promised son when Abram was as good as dead (Rom. 4:19). God used Moses to deliver Israel from slavery only after he was a has-been tending sheep in the desert for 40 years. Paul is remembered as a powerhouse of ministry, a fearless preacher, a worker of miracles. But when was he most useful to God? In prison. All the souls he touched while a free citizen pale compared to the *generations* affected by his letters, many of which were written in jail.
Joseph saved the world because he was mugged, sold into slavery, accused of rape, and then forgotten in prison for 14 years. More examples will only beg the question: Is God crazy? Is anyone who follows Him crazy?
God isn’t crazy. But He looks crazy. He looks as crazy as the Wright brothers in a grounded world. But He isn’t crazy. He is the resurrection and the life. Flesh gives birth to flesh, and spirit gives birth to spirit (John 3:6). Nothing divine will come of us unless we first die (1 Cor. 15:36). Life’s blooms can only burst from the grave.
Who our Lord is, and how He functions is our curse and our hope. To the self-assured, the free, the over-achievers, and the goody two-shoes, He is a vexing non-sequitur, a 2+2=7, a smiling idiot. To the dead-beats, has-beens, and jailbirds, to those whose dreams have evaporated in the daylight, He is Scrooge’s Christmas, a presidential pardon, a defibrillating shock, a mirage come true.
It is easy to feel discouraged about what we are (or aren’t). But knowing Christ means what we wish we were (but aren’t) and what we wish we weren’t (but are) both qualify us as vessels of divine power. Confused? Good. That means you’re catching on 😉
“For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by God’s grace I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:9-10).