Have you ever seen the list of the broken and failing men and woman whom God used?
Adam – shifter of blame and succomber to peer pressure
Noah – got drunk and slept naked
Abraham – let other men have his wife; TWICE
Sarah – gave her husband to another woman and then hated her for it
Jacob – was a liar
Reuben – was a pervert
Moses – had a hot temper
Aaron – created an idol
Miriam – was jealous and greedy for power
Samson – chose to be unequally yoked
David – was an adulterer
Solomon – was a sex addict
Jonah – ran from God
Peter – denied God
Stephanie – underestimated God
Over and over, in Scripture, we read of broken, flawed people who, again and again, fell away from a righteous relationship with God; and yet, when we continue reading, we are given an amazing testimony of God’s abundant mercy and grace.
After God created Adam, He said, “It is good”.
God used Noah to rescue His creation.
God used Abraham to be the father of many nations
God used Sarah to be the mother of the line of David and ultimately, Jesus
God used Jacob to be the father of the 12 Tribes of Israel
God used Reuben to spare Joseph’s life
God used Moses to lead His people
God used Aaron to support Moses and to be a priest
God used Miriam to spare Moses’ life
God used Samson to deliver Israel from the Philistines
God called David, “a man after My own heart”
God gave Solomon wisdom and peace (and wealth)
God used Jonah to send His message to Nineveh
God used Peter to to share His message and to illustrate His grace
God used Stephanie to…
I received an email this week sharing the story of a woman who did CPR on someone and the person lived. That is a fabulous story, even without any more details. Now, here are the details:
A mission trip was heading to the Ukraine to do camp ministry and family discipleship.
The organizer called and was turned down by his first three choices to go with him.
The organizer saw a Facebook post by someone he knew that worked in both family discipleship and water safety & first aid.
When he called her, the woman said she would think and pray about going and then told God she wouldn’t go.
The woman argued with God.
The woman doubted God.
The woman made excuses to God.
The woman challenged God.
God said, “Go” and so the woman went.
While there, the woman heard, “I was desperate and you have given me hope (God’s message)”.
While there, the woman had an opportunity to interact with a man set out as an enemy to part of the mission and afterward he said, “this is fruitful”.
While there, the woman (and the team) ministered in a small church where a pastor said at the beginning, “This is not for us” and at the end said, “This works, we need this”.
And now to the email.
While there, the woman was supposed to be helping out with water safety, but was asked to lend a hand in teaching some first aid to a group of camp administrators. Teaching basic lessons that she teaches at home seemed like such a simple thing. A Ukrainian doctor usurped the class and taught ‘the Ukrainian way’. The woman went away wondering if she had made any kind of difference or impact.
Unbeknownst to the woman, the day after the camp, one of the participants was hosting a Bible study and someone collapsed in front of her home. Someone else from the Bible study was trying to help, but she remembered what she had learned at camp and instructed him and helped him do CPR until an ambulance arrived. The woman who had collapsed, survived and shared with her rescuers that she was a Christian struggling through a very difficult time.
Months later and this story came back to God’s reluctant servant – third hand.
The moral of this message is that God can and WILL work through us, using us for His glory, if we will only let Him.
I am certain that you have figured out by now that the woman is me. That I was running like Jonah; not because I had an issue with the Ukrainian or Belarusian people, but because I was tired, discouraged, weak and focusing on what I had to offer instead of what God wanted to do. I came home from that mission trip, I am sure, more blessed than anyone there, and yet, there is a woman who received the opportunity to restore her relationship with God and renew her hope, because God used me to help someone else to save her life.
So often, we have no idea what is ahead of us in God’s plan. His big picture is so awesome that even if we knew the details, I don’t know that we would truly understand.
… who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
… I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.
When I fill in that blank, God used Stephanie to… , I want it to read that I am a woman after God’s own heart, who will do all His will.