I’m so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry. The only credentials I brought to it were invective and witch hunts and arrogance. But I was treated mercifully because I didn’t know what I was doing—didn’t know Who I was doing it against! Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me. And all because of Jesus. I Timothy 12-15 MSG
In a recent interview I was asked if I was exceptionally patient, super organized, and incredibly kind…I answered, “None of the above.”
“It’s almost a joke that God would give me this many kids,” I told the interviewer. “I had to get organized, or I would drown in the laundry and paperwork, but kindness and patience are still somewhat elusive.”
It’s true. My father used to say, “Patience hell, I’m gonna go kill someone!” And that was his Marine Corps answer whenever someone who worked with him was asking him to exhibit patience.
I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
But the verses above give me so much peace. The Apostle Paul was the most unlikely to be chosen for his world-changing profession of bringing the Gospel to quite literally – the whole earth. Having written most of the New Testament, suffered numerous near-death beatings, shipwrecks, imprisonments and torture, Paul began as a Jewish leader named Saul who had originally made it his life’s goal to stomp out Christianity since he thought it to be some heretical sect.
And then Jesus got a hold of him.
And the world was never the same.
Every one of us parents, every one of us as believers, even if we grew up in the church and were spoon fed theology from day one, we have a defining moment where we knew…we knew we had crossed a line and made a decision for Jesus.
And if we are really honest with ourselves, we know that even with the best of circumstances behind us (or for many of us, the worst!) all we really brought to the table when we came to Jesus was a mess of a mind and some baggage from our past. But God is merciful with us in our ignorance, and gracious with us in our disobedience. [bctt tweet=”His love is poured out over us and into us and THAT is what makes us all fit for ministry. ” username=”lyettereback”]Giftedness, talent, capability and intelligence, all of these things help, sure. Hours upon hours, hundreds or even thousands of days spent dedicated to our individual callings can mold us and chisel us into the tool in our Maker’s hand that is useful for ministry and effective… It is Christ alone that makes us adequate for the work. Grace mixed with faith, all because of Jesus and His sacrifice on our behalf covering and washing away every sin…that any one of us can even begin to do the work of raising up the world-changers of the next generation.
And in that sense, I’m so glad I have the cross of Christ, that Tree of Life, to claim as my heritage too. Hoping and believing that this apple never falls too far away from that Tree.
***The pictures in this post are of my father, my mother and I. I’m missing the old guy so much lately and so I wanted to share some family photos from when I was younger with all of you. Both of these were taken right around my first year of college. Right before I met Mr. Wonderful (David).