The Bible says to “give thanks in ALL things” in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. So, I guess that means all…things.
Many of us have great challenges in our lives this season, and it sounds crazy to actually thank God for those challenges, disappointments, heartaches…
but that’s the way to life, freedom, and even joy
and JOY is just around the corner…
Let’s begin the celebration of Christ’s great rescue
His humble birth
the wonder of His grace
His power to turn everything upside down
mourning into dancing
and let’s begin with THANKSGIVING
We’ve recently been talking in our church about how God is able to use all of us in His creative, surprising, redemptive plan, even with our shortcomings and limitations. We’re reminded of Moses questioning God’s judgment in asking him to lead the people out of Egypt: Moses had a few excuses for why he wasn’t the best qualified for the job, but God not only dismissed those excuses, He actually USED them, redeemed them, and made it all work in perfect beauty. Have you ever felt like you have too many issues, problems, or weaknesses to play God’s divine role for you? It’s not true! We need to surrender those doubts to God…and see the magic unfold…lay down that old, ragged shepherd staff and watch it become a snake! …or hopefully something more pleasant.
Oh yah, back to Elvis…
So, I’m backstage in a remote, fogged-in region of coastal Oregon a few weeks ago, and I have a conversation with one of the most interesting guys I’ve met in a long time. He’s a 50ish year-old, Native American, short-term memory impaired, deaf in one ear ELVIS IMPERSONATOR…for JESUS! He began to share his struggles… He doesn’t play an instrument and can’t seem to find too many venues that appreciate his Karaoke Elvis songs. Plus, when he does get to perform, he can’t remember the words, so he has to bury his head in a lyric sheet (I’m sure his eyesight’s not that great either), and since he can only barely hear out of one ear, the Karaoke music has to be played as loud as possible, distorting the PA and punishing audiences, while he strains his good ear toward the speakers…all the while crooning the Gospel-tinged Elvis classics in full sequins and cape. “Do you have any advice for me?” he asks…
I was at a loss then and I still am. I just encouraged him…while he quickly demonstrated a few of his moves. I told him that God can do ANYTHING. This guy didn’t want to quit on the dream, and he felt that God was still leading him, so I cheered him on! I patted him on the back. I prayed for him. Who knows? God used Moses. God uses me.
God can use you, too.