News from the front porch for Nov. 8
God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called. God chooses to work through people, as amazing as that statement is. The patience that it takes to work with us is astonishing; his mercy and empowering grace are miraculous. He made us and has a plan for each of us that supersedes anything we can ask or imagine. Consider these examples of ordinary people empowered by God to do extraordinary things.
An ordinary man saved his family from a worldwide flood. Noah.
A runaway leads an entire nation to freedom. Moses.
A former slave leads a band of wanderers to take on the most fortified city in the world, and wins. Joshua.
A day-dreaming teenager saves the known world from hunger. Joseph.
A shepherd boy fights the fiercest warrior in the land and wins and later becomes king of Israel. David.
A teenager changes the national religion of a pagan nation. They threw him into a blazing furnace that was so hot it killed the soldiers tending it. They also threw him into a hole in the ground filled with starved lions. He came out of the fire without being burned and out of the lion's den without a scratch. Daniel.
Two "unschooled, unlearned" fishermen heal a man crippled from birth. Peter and John.
A virgin teenager is called to give birth to the messiah and the savior of the world. A carpenter is called to be her husband and help care for Jesus. Mary and Joseph.
These people simply obeyed God, left all the consequences of their obedience to him, and did not give up their gifts and calling because it seemed hard or they thought God should have called someone who knew what they were doing. They just took the next step by faith and trusted God for wisdom and strength, and he gave it to them.
From the beginning of creation through today, God has chosen many ordinary, everyday, common people - even supposedly "ignorant" people - to do his work on earth. What is it that God has placed in your hands to do? What is it that he chose you to do because he trusts you to do it? Will we choose not to disrespect him by saying he should have chosen someone else, and simply take the steps of faith and watch him do extraordinary and miraculous things through Christ's strength and sufficiency in us?
"Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him….This is because the foolish thing that has its source in God is wiser than men, and the weak thing that springs from God is stronger than men." I Corinthians 1: 26-29, 25
P. S. All front porchers are invited to come and see us perform the account of Job in original song with orchestra, "Job: A Post-modern Opera of Biblical Proportions" at 6 p.m. at Burns Memorial United Methodist Church, 2372 Lumpkin Road, Augusta. A love offering will be received.
Dianne Brady is an author and speaker and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.