In Spite of Ourselves

Several months ago my associate Rupert and I were sitting in the front pew while a young man, Joe, preached. Near the end of his message Joe’s cell phone went off. He was embarrassed and fumbled to turn it off. Rupert and I looked at each other with an unholy smirk on our faces. We would have great fun poking fun at Joe afterward for failing to remember to turn off his phone, and we did!

Thinking back, I’m not sure God was real pleased with my perverse delight at Joe’s embarrassing moment – vengeance is the Lord’s. Sometime later I was conducting a funeral. You guessed it. In the middle of my message my cell phone went off! I mumbled something about getting a text message from God reminding me that I had forgotten a point I was to make in the message, but it was a lame effort at damage control.

Once the service was over and I was waiting in my car for the procession to the cemetery to begin I had an overwhelming desire to kick myself, which is hard to do when sitting in a car. I was so frustrated with myself! My prayer was that God would still use what was said and done at the funeral service, in spite of my guffaw.

Do you ever feel like God really doesn’t have a lot to work with when it comes to working with you and you with Him? Sometimes we get to thinking that maybe other people can be properly religious and Christian but we wouldn’t put ourselves very high on that list. We tend, then, to disqualify ourselves from being of much use to God.

Cheer up! God’s great at using the less than great person! Every single Bible character (other than Jesus) was imperfect, blew it, was sinful. God still used them in mighty ways! God is a great God and by His grace He can love us, forgive us, and use us in spite of who we are!

“But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.” (Psalm 130:4)


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