We’re all here on Earth, in our “Earthen vessels”; going the same way, but we’re all on our own paths, walking out our own journey. Some of our paths seem to be close, others seem farther away, and yet some cross and intersect and then run parallel, for seasons and spells. At the intersection of our paths, is my point, it’s here we most often realize we’re made men, but we’re not-self made men! We realize our frailty, limitations, weaknesses, and often this is where we are helped and strengthened on the way. Before and after salvation, there’s no difference, we’re not-self made men, we are truly made men. (Ladies this includes you)
Moses was the Deliverer for the Children of Israel, approaching Pharoah’s throne, and encroaching on his authority, with a message from an unknown God. But this same Moses was a babe once, that needed to be saved himself. How ironic is that, that the one who would lead the people to be saved, needed to be saved too.
I’m a dad now, a husband, and in my full-time job I help people regularly. However, when I look back on my life I can see the paths of others that have crossed into my own, and in a sense “save” me so that I can be here today, to write this, and to hug my kids when they get out of bed. I think about a very influential shop teacher, who spared this young, curiously defiant boy, from graver consequences than cleaning bathrooms and staying late after class. I think about a 5th grade teacher who looked down with encouragement at a little boy who was still coming to the point of looking at himself. She filled my cup with words of self-worth, and began the journey of me seeing and valuing me. There were countless others, who came, some left love, others courage, some Truth; this makes me think about the “Urban Evangelists” that would come through my neighborhood to pray with us kids.
Consider Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the prize set before Him endured the cross, and went on to be with the Father in glory. His story on earth, began in a manger, and He needed someone to keep Him from those who sought to take His life! Could God have been any more vulnerable? He came as a babe! Weighing all of lets say, “eight pounds”, and every bit of Him was helpless and needy.
Does God know about being dependent or helpless? I think He does, He went through the same class we did. He had to depend on parents; no matter how “immaculate” the conception was Mary wasn’t perfect, neither was Joseph.
When I reflect on my salvation, I’m joyous, however its all of God, there’s no room for me to boast, it wasn’t nothing I did. When I reflect back on my life, I’m thankful, and I see so many places where I can’t boast, because it wasn’t me, no “if it wasn’t for him or her”, what would have happened to me. I eagerly choose to be thankful for the hands that tended to me. They kept me safe, when I couldn’t and most importantly when I needed it.
When thinking about Jesus’ and Moses’ life we can call the details of their beginnings and how it contrasted with what they would later become ironic, I don’t think God calls it that, I think He calls them part of His plan. We can get frustrated because we have to depend on us, but God depends on you and me. Yet, He doesn’t shame us when we let Him down, or are slow to coming around. The angels in heaven still rejoice for the person who is saved at 10 or 65! They don’t store away the party banners and say, ” You took too long!”
Is my path, and those that come into it really all part of God’s plan? I’ve had those intersections and contacts that are grievous to look back at. Yet, I hear Joseph saying to his brothers, “so now it was not you who sent me here, but God…” (Gen 45:8). The same brothers who sold him into slavery, were just puppets in God’s hands. I know the implications, but that is what the Text says! I’d still have to agree, because I just haven’t found a place where God is ignorant, or impotent, but rather I found Him to be powerful over all people and situations, able to reach and touch the lowest and furthest; He’s able to keep all who keep their minds upon Him.
Of Dirt and Clay: Reflections in Life
“I know what I’m made out of, and I know who’s making me into His image!”