As an avid sports fan, I am often awestruck at the athletic ability that is easily found through the endless array of media platforms. It’s not uncommon for me to get caught binge watching the best one-handed catches in NFL history, or the most extreme big air tricks at the X-Games, or the most epic slam dunks EVER! Like many, I am mesmerized as I watch the seemingly impossible happen in high-def and super slo-mo, right before my very eyes.
A common phrase spoken around the sports world, especially on the local morning sports show I sometimes listen to, is “The best ability a player can have is availability.” As you probably understand, it is a backhanded way of saying no matter how good a player’s ability is, if they can’t stay healthy enough to play or out of trouble enough to play then their ability is useless.
Today’s professional sports leagues are filled with lots of, shall I say, colorful characters, and are easily thought of as the most elite athletes of our time. (Arguably of all other times as well.) But, if egos get in the way, or off-field shenanigans run amuck, or injuries come without warning, boom, to the bench they go. Sheer, raw talent is good, but it’s not the “end-all be-all.” NFL scouts are excellent at looking at what’s beyond the talent; what’s inside, what makes a player tick. The passion, the drive and especially the moldability is hugely important when selecting their next future star. A player’s willingness to be shaped and molded to fit the overall make-up of the team is critical in ensuring success. And so it is with our Christian walk as well. In studying the Scriptures, I see multiple examples of God empowering and elevating those who are willing and available far more than those who are just talented. (Moses, David, and Joseph, just to name a few) As cliché as it may be, “God doesn’t call the equipped as often as He equips the called” is so very true.
Jeremiah 18:5-6 says “. . . “Oh house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done?” declares the Lord. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, oh house of Israel.” God is adamant that he desires to shape and mold his people to fit his ultimate design. The decision we face is whether we’ll submit to it or rebel against it. Are we willing to be pliable and easily workable in the hands of the Lord, or will we be stubborn and stiff, resisting his work every step of the way?
God the Father created Adam from the dust of the ground, very literally shaping and forming him into his own image. And then he breathed his very own life into him. Through Adam’s seed and every generation after him, leading up to you and I, God is desiring to shape and form us into that same perfect original design. Our willingness and availability to allow him to have his way makes all the difference. Our talents and giftings will all flow naturally and dare I say supernaturally to us and through us as we submit to that process.
My hope and prayer is that we will all soften ourselves to the Potter’s hands, allowing him to shape and reshape us, in ever increasing measure, into his image. AMEN! (Let it be Lord!)
~ Pastor Mitch