Sunday, October 11, 2009

Create In Me

It's another Sunday, another day to praise God and be amazed by the grace He gives us through Jesus Christ.  But yet...I wonder.  Now that I am no longer in professional ministry, what is God's plan for me.  Am I still of use to Him despite my status as a "notorious sinner?"  What is my "place in this world?"  Some days I doubt, and sometimes I despair.  But mostly, I remember the words of the psalmist in Psalm 51 when he prays "create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me."  Lois Cheney captures my doubt about my worthiness to serve the Savior in her classic (but sadly, out of print) 1969 devotional book God Is No Fool.  One of my favorite passages, read on Youth Sundays by dozens of students over the years, reminds me that I walk the same path as so many others who doubted they had anything to offer God.  Listen to her words:

Moses said, "Oh come on now!  Be sensible!  I'm a terrible speaker.  They'd never listen to me."  And God said, "Oh for crying out loud!  OK, I'll use your brother to help with the speaking."  And Moses led God's people out of disintegration.

Jonah said, "Oh come on now!  Be sensible!  Not me!  I'm not the type."  And after a rather unexpected vacation in a fish, just thinking things over, he talked to God's people and led them God's way- even though he wasn't happy about it.

And Zacharias said, "Oh come on now! Be sensible!  Not me!  My wife and I are too old to have any kids."  And God said, "Oh shut up!"  And he did shut up- for nine months.  And John was born, and the way for the Christ opened up.

And I heard a child say
"I can't serve God, I'm too young."

And I heard a boy say
"I can't serve God, I'm not good enough."

And I hear a woman say
"I can't serve God I'm not skilled enough."

And I heard a man say
"I can't serve God I'm not pure enough."

I wonder if God ever gets any new problems...

The great songwriter Mary Rice Hopkins wrote "Create in me a clean heart, oh God, that I might serve You."  My prayer on this day of worship echos her words.  May God open our eyes and our hearts to what He has in store for each of us.

Because of Jesus,

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