The next time you feel like GOD can't use you, just remember...
Noah was a drunk Abraham was too old Isaac was a daydreamer Jacob was a liar Leah was ugly Joseph was abused Moses had a stuttering problem Gideon was afraid Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer Rahab was a prostitute Jeremiah and Timothy were too young David had an affair and was a murderer Elijah was suicidal Isaiah preached naked Jonah ran from God Naomi was a widow Job went bankrupt John the Baptist ate bugs Peter denied Christ The Disciples fell asleep while praying Martha worried about everything The Samarian woman was divorced, more than once Zaccheus was too small Paul was too religious Timothy had an ulcer...AND Lazarus was dead!
No more excuses now!!
God can use you to your full potential. Besides you aren't the message, you are just the messenger.
My friend Tom has a taste for some of the beautiful things in life like great food for example. In face, he's a wonderful chef. I think I'm still wearing some of his culinary creations on my body. Tom also really appreciates nature, including plants. Actually, I've been fascinated to hear him tell of some of the incredible creations of God that live in that world of plants and flowers that I don't know much about. The last time we saw him, he told us about a flower called the Night Blooming Cyrus, which he said he's only seen bloom once. That's because they don't do much when folks are awake. In fact, they only bloom for two hours a day, and that's from midnight till 2:00 A.M. But for those who stay up late or set their alarm, there's the splendor of a richly colored flower that measures about six inches in bloom. It's beautiful late at night.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 12. 2 Corinthians in many ways is Paul's most personal letter. He struggles with this chronic physical ailment here in chapter 12 that had really brought a dark cloud over his life. Listen to what he says in verses 8 and 9, for example. He says, "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.' But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" Paul says, "Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses." Look at this. First, he's pleading for it to go away, now he's grateful he's got it. His suffering has been a dark night in his life, but something happened in his night. He says, "So that Christ's power may rest on me." Then in verse 10, he says, "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
He's learned something about life's hard times. They can birth a beauty that could never come out if it were day. How? Your dark time strips you of a lot of the self stuff: self-reliance, self-confidence, self-promoting. And as life careens more and more out of your control, you begin to melt before God. You're no longer standing before Him in some kind of partner- ship. You are melted on your knees before Him with nothing to contribute to the answer, and there in that season of forced dependency and humility something unexpected happens. You feel the powerful hands of Jesus picking you up, carrying you, and you experience Jesus loving you in ways you never felt when things were good. And as you face the unimaginable with His strength taking over, you taste the power of God as you never could when the power of you was working.
There's a new beauty in Him that comes only through the night. Your pain has given you a new tenderness and a new compassion. You have a deep peace that is known only by those who have walked through the valley with Jesus. And there is this unexplainable radiance of one who has been tapping into the central power of God to make it through each new day.
It may be that you've been going through all of your valleys pretty much alone. There's one who wants to walk through every valley with you, if you have a personal relationship with Him. It took His death on the cross to remove the sin wall that keeps you from that relationship. It may be you don't want to go through one more valley without the one who loves you most. Why don't you tell Him "I'm yours" today? Then let me know that you want that relationship and I'll send you my booklet about it called Yours For Life.
Like that flower my friend told me about, you could suddenly develop midnight beauty - the kind that only comes when it's dark. Ron Hutchcraft
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Very interesting as to how you did this. However, for those over twenty-something? I realize that one could say that twenty-something is all others but perhaps not to a reader. Be that as it may, what you have provided is good. Thank you