Monday, May 24, 2010
A young Minnesota man with a very noticeable speech handicap has now risen to success as a vocalist and musician. His voice is smooth and rich with a wide range -- and no sign of stuttering when he's doing what God designed him to do! According to Christianity Today, "he is one of Christian music's best kept secrets." As a stutterer, Jason Gray's music focuses on finding strength in weakness. He shares his stuttering story, reminding us that God can make beautiful music out of our brokenness. I recently fell in love with Jason's hit singles, "More Like Falling in Love" and "Blessed Be (All the Lonely Losers)." Jason is a vibrant picture of God's love in action. He's been recognized for his civic leadership and humanitarian work through World Vision with children orphaned by AIDS in Africa.
A North Carolina farm boy was expected to follow in his father's footsteps, taking over the farm someday. He was once rejected for youth group membership, then was almost expelled from a Christian college and told by his superiors, "About all you could amount to would be a poor country Baptist preacher out in the sticks." Ah, but God knew the potential in this humble man! Who was this farm boy? None other than the Reverend Billy Graham, who is one of the most admired people of the 20th century, who has preached in person to more people than any other preacher in history, and who has been spiritual advisor to 12 U.S. presidents! Now in his nineties, his life continues to be one of the most compassionate examples of humility, love and grace available in our time.
More stories like these abound in the Bible. As a young boy, David killed a giant with a simple stone in a slingshot when all the brave warriors' tactics failed. Moses killed an Egyptian in his early years, but later was used by God on a huge mission. A prostitute named Rahab offered shelter which saved lives at a critical time. Saul (Paul) persecuted Christians, but when the scales fell off his eyes, God used him to save souls all over the known world and to author half of the New Testament. John Mark deserted Paul on an early missionary journey, which caused a huge argument between Paul and Barnabus about trusting him on another trip. This is the same man who later wrote the Gospel of Mark.
We have many reminders of how God uses weakness, humility and brokenness. The Bible says, "God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." (1 Cor. 1:27 NIV). He does this so no one can boast. "We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us!" (2 Cor. 4:7 NIV)
So what about you and me? Whose lives will be impacted by ours? Where will our feet carry the good news? Who will experience God's love administered through our hands, His grace through our kind words? Don't you wonder what treasure lies within, just waiting for God to call it out?
The common denominator here is that we need to be yielded, surrendered and willing to let God use us in whatever way He chooses... and to God be all the glory!
Oh Lord, I want to be fully available to you -- no hesitating, no "gatekeeping" of my talents. It's all from You. It's all about You. Let me be Your hands, feet, voice... wherever You lead me.