And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
I recently listened to a testimony by Gospel singer Travis Greene that really got my attention. Maybe, like me, many of you have heard of his testimony when he was young and fell from a building and although initially doctors pronounced him dead, God miraculously saved his life. This other testimony that I heard recently I had never heard before and it truly caught my attention because I look at his ministry now and am amazed at how awesome our God is.
It turns out that one day, at the age of four, he bit his tongue so badly that he grew up with a speech impediment. He had a really difficult time pronouncing “s”. They tried putting up different words beginning with “s” to see if he could pronounce the “s” but he just couldn’t. They gave up hope on him ... but God didn’t. Years later, he walked into music company, Sony RCA in New York, and was asked how much money he wanted them to give him to be there. Even though they told him that what they liked about him was that they could always tell it was him, alluding to his speech impediment, he didn’t take offense, he simply thanked them choosing to take it as a compliment. What was seen as a limitation, a hindrance God chose to use to bring honour and glory to Himself. Today, he is a renowned gospel singer and pastor. Clearly, his “accident” as a child has not prevented him from using that same “messed up” tongue to do great things for God.
As I compare the story from last week about Jessica Long, the successful Paralympic swimmer, I note a difference between the two. Jessica Long had done nothing to cause her handicap. She was simply born that way. God chose to let her be born without her lower leg bones. Travis Greene, on the other hand, accidentally bit his tongue so badly as a child that he developed a speech impediment. He was responsible for his “handicap”. The interesting thing is it didn’t matter to God. He chose to use both of these individuals to do great things for Him. God is not interested in punishing us for all of our flaws or mistakes. In fact, He will use them to bring honour and glory to Him.
I think of the story of Abraham and Sarah. Sarah had done nothing to be barren. God was the One who chose to close her womb. On top of that, He gave her husband a promise of a child that only a fertile wife could fulfil (Genesis 15:2-4). Had God made a mistake? No, He had not. What doesn’t make sense to man makes sense to God. You see, at the end of the day, God was going to be the One to fulfil His own promise to Abraham. Both him and his barren wife would be the parents of many nations (Genesis 17:3-4,15-16). Their inability to have children could not stop God’s promise to them. I don’t know about you but to me that speaks of the awesomeness of God – accomplishing something in us that ONLY HE can fulfil. It would seem that God loves to speak impossible things over our lives knowing that He alone can fulfil them.
The other story I think of is the one of the apostle Paul, originally named Saul. Prior to his conversion, Paul had persecuted Christians sure that he was doing God’s will. When he finally had an encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus where he hoped to persecute, even murder more Christ-followers, his entire life was transformed and he became one of Jesus’ most avid followers, preaching the same Jesus he had been so fervently against (Acts 9:1-22). Did his activities before serving Christ disqualify him from being used mightily by God. No, they did not. God had a purpose and plan for his life and his crusade against Jesus could not change God’s mind about using him.
My own life has not been perfect. When I made the choice to turn away from God, that was my choice, my doing, my mistake. Yet, when I made the move to return to Him, He didn’t see me as washed up, as disqualified. In fact, He has instead chosen to use me in ways that I never would have dreamed or imagined. In His eyes I am not disqualified, and He is actually using the negative areas in my life to bring honour and glory to Him. I would not have had a testimony had I not been through a trial. I would not be able to comfort and encourage others had I not been through hurt and pain. I would not be able to be used by Him had it not been for the lessons learned through my mistakes as well as through things that happened that were not even my fault. As I will continue to say, I thank God for the negatives in my life. They have made my life more fruitful and more blessed and just as God has and continues to do it for me, He will do the same for you. If nothing can separate you from God’s love, nothing can truly disqualify you from being used by God either. Even though we are not perfect, He is, and He is quite capable of doing the impossible in and through you.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as Lord and Saviour I encourage you to do so now. No amount of fixing on your part can make your life perfect, that’s God’s job. Let Him take you just as you are and do with you what only He can do ... the impossible!
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.