, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Yakity-Sax”

I’d like to think most of us at some point in our lives will find ourselves in Pinkie Pie’s shoes; namely in doing something that we personally love but aren’t necessarily terribly good at it (or possibly even a bit bad). While a great deal of this episode focuses on Pinkie’s depression on realizing she isn’t any good at something she likes and her friends responding to it, when considering a message for this episode I focused on the resolution.

While Pinkie was definitely upset to hear from her friends that she was pretty tone deaf when it came to playing the yovidaphone, the real reason for her depression was because she realized that she was bad at playing it, and it wasn’t simply a matter of opinion. And as a result, she was more than understandably nervous to want to play the instrument in front of a yurt full of yaks as, demonstrated time and again in the series, they tend to go ballistic when you try doing any of their traditions and not make it absolutely perfect. Nevertheless, encouraged by her friends to do it as something she loved, she ended up most unexpectedly getting a round of cheers from the audience as it turned out the true spirit of playing the yovidaphone “perfectly” is doing it in a way that makes one happy. In that case, even not being good at that particular talent turned out to not matter; only that Pinkie made the effort to play.

Most of my devotionals have focused on the idea that people are ideally unique and made for certain situations, and that the call of God and what he wants us to do with our lives from day to day will often reflect what talents or aptitudes we possess. However, I want to stress that while I believe God will never call us to do something that we can’t handle provided we trust in him, he won’t necessarily always call us to do something that we feel we can handle with or without him.

While I highly doubt most of us will ever be called to do something incredibly stupendous and totally contrary to anything we have ever done or experienced in the least, to the point where the only way we could possibly pull it off would be divine intervention (like, for example, me being called to perform triple bypass surgery when I haven’t the slightest idea how to operate on anything), as early as the book of Genesis God makes it clear that what he really wants out of people is obedience…the willingness to make oneself available to God for him to use. It’s not raw talent, a person’s bearing, or how influential or powerful they are that God desires. It’s the ability to submit to him and his Will when he wants to make use of you. Furthermore, God also emphasizes that he desires individuals such as that more than those who are able, because it is when God acts through them, through people who seem to have no ability or fortitude that makes them stand out or capable of anything special, that he truly manifests his power.

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 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.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

There are several Biblical examples of this. Big ones include King David, who started off as the youngest (and therefore least-favored) of the sons of Jesse (1 Samuel 16:1-13). There was the judge Gideon who, by his own admission, was the “lowest of the low” in Israel (Judges 6:11-16). Amos the prophet was a sheep herder and a fig farmer (Amos 7:14-15). Among the Apostles there were a variety of non-religion-based occupations, like fisherman (Matthew 4:18-22), tax collector (Matthew 9:9), and even revolutionary (Luke 6:15). Jesus Himself was considered a carpenter (Mark 6:5), and His mother was a poor girl (Luke 1-2).

And of course, earliest of all, there was Abraham. While he was a man of considerable wealth, he was told by God to pack up and leave everything he knew behind so that he could become a “father of nations” when, at the age of 100 and by pretty much all accounts well past “dead”, he was still childless. Why did God end up blessing him? Abraham lived prior to the Mosaic Law and the ministry of Jesus, so there were no commands from God to keep or established sacrifices to present. In Abraham’s case, what made him a blessing, what made him the father of the faiths of most of the world today, what indeed gave him billions of descendants (either directly or through adoption of religion), was simply because he had faith in God’s blessing.

“Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)

He went where God told him and he did what God told him to do, even when he had to go somewhere he didn’t know and was told to kill his own long-sought-after son. In the end, God credited it as righteousness simply that Abraham was willing to go on nothing but faith. And that righteousness had a lasting impact to this day.

So while I have talked in great detail about God matching us to who we are and our talents, I don’t want to leave this behind. The message for today is that God ultimately desires obedience and surrendering to his Will, even in times where we are nervous and uncertain. Ultimately, if God is telling us to do something, then we have a confidence that so long as we commit to be available that it will work out both for our good and the Kingdom of God.

Remember…while it might be true in many situations that there are people who would have greater aptitude for a task, be bolder, stronger, more well-spoken, or any of a host of other things where we find ourselves called, those people aren’t the ones in that situation. It’s us, and it’s our responsibility to make ourselves available when it happens.

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you for your Word, which assures us that when we are called to do something beyond our power and seemingly beyond hope, all you truly require of us is to trust in you and step out. Please help me to cling to this when fears, doubts, and anxieties hold me back from doing your Will. By the grace of God, I choose to always make myself available and step out boldly in faith when you call me. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”