This week Steven, my 22 year old, started his work as an Emergency Room Technician at a local hospital. This is an exciting answer to prayer and hard work. He is happy with the direction his life has taken. It is obvious this is a perfect fit for him. He has many unique qualities which will no doubt be helpful as he continues down this path. I am very proud of him. He has worked extremely hard to earn the opportunity to assist doctors and nurses as they care for those in need. That said, I must admit there is a big part of my brain that is screaming out, “ARE YOU GUYS CRAZY?”. I mean, this is “Steven” we’re talking about. This is the young man who in high school started an organization called “The Canned Meat Society”, which espoused the fine qualities of Spam and its many uses. The young man they’ve hired is the same young man who thought bringing home a caged squirrel would be a good pet idea, tried to nurse a wounded bird to health resulting in said bird being miraculously healed and flying around our house for about an hour, collected fast food uniforms and paraphernalia and could often be found behind the counter of such establishments even though he’s never actually worked at one. Believe me, these are just a few of the many oddities and adventures Steven has brought into our lives just in the last decade…there is not enough room in this blog to recount all his exploits. And yet, as difficult as it is to grasp, there is no doubt he is good at what he does and will be a blessing to those whose lives he will have an impact on. I know that all he is and is becoming is the result of God’s working in his life. “My Steven” could not possibly help save a life or help someone feel better, but “God’s Steven” can do all that and more.
I used to think something very similar to this about myself. I have worked as a science and math instructor for high school students for many years. My formal education did not include any instruction as a science or math teacher. I often thought of my employers, “ARE YOU GUYS CRAZY?”. I mean, if they only knew how unqualified I was to do what I was doing they would have to let me go. Although my employers all knew my educational background, I couldn’t help thinking the day would come when someone finally said, “Hey, what is she doing teaching?’. I pictured the moment like the scene in “The Wizard of Oz” where they drew back the curtain to see the “great OZ” and discovered a very small man falsely creating a very large persona. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” he proclaimed to them as they stared in disbelief. My unworthiness and imperfections were so obvious to me, yet others did not seem to notice.
Over the years I came to realize that it was through my imperfections and unworthiness that God worked the most effectively. I eventually came to LOVE the opportunity to share with others how impossible it was that I was doing what I was doing with any amount of success. It was God’s grace to me that He blessed my efforts, enabled me to understand and communicate to my students. How often have you looked back at events in your own life and realized you had done something beyond your own ability? Isn’t it when we are the least able, most weak or in our greatest struggles that we truly rely on God? All of us, as we move through this journey of life in the flesh, are like the rather small man in OZ. As we navigate through trials and triumphs with the grace of our God we can all proclaim, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…instead pay attention to our God who enables us to do all things through Him.” I Peter 1:7-11 reminds us this “…do so with the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified…” I Love how Jude describes our God in verse 24, “…Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy…”. The God who can take away our sin so we can stand blameless before His glory in heaven, will enable us to do all He has put before us!