Nobody is any more shocked than myself when I realize how God is using me for the Kingdom. I know me. I wouldn’t trust me with such a task as presenting the gospel! I’m sure there are times that I fail to remember what it is I’m doing when I write in this space in the name of Jesus. It is my goal to present my words in such a way that anyone who would stumble upon this blog would see the saving grace of Jesus Christ for whatever season of life they happen to be in. We just changed seasons a few weeks ago. What a welcome site the season of spring is to our weary cabin fevered souls, who long to be outside experiencing the sights, sounds and aromas of nature. Well, maybe not all aroma’s… skunks are a questionable creation. But had they not been created we’d never have grown up with the animated character of Pepé Le Pew. The French debonair lover who mistook a feminine feline for one of his own. The cat knew Pepé was a skunk because of his odiferous ways. But to Pepé, he smelled just fine! And such is man…
Most days, I think I’m just fine. And then I realize how very much I stink. I’m not at all who I want to be. I want to be that cool cat, well-seasoned Christian whose walk of faith is a light for all to see the pathway to salvation. But God knows me. I am not that cool cat. His word once again pierced my heart today as I read the last words of John 2:25 – for He knew what was in man.
My mind went immediately to the failures, the stinky moments in my life. Why does God tolerate me?! Why did He allow me to be set before people as an illustration of what not to do? I don’t understand that any more than I understand why God made skunks. What role in life do they play? Well, it turns out, they serve many.
Skunks eat whatever they can scrounge, which includes insects, plant materials such as wild fruits, mice, and the eggs of birds that nest on the ground. Things that can damage our lawns and damage our homes. I’m sure there are other “non-googled” purposes that I am unaware of. That was just a few. But God gave me to know this morning there was a purpose in the skunk and there was a purpose in me.
As Jesus began His earthly ministry and began selecting His team, we discover that He knew them too. As Andrew brought his brother Simon Peter to Jesus, Jesus’ first words to Him in John 1:42 were “Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.”
Jesus not only called Peter by his present name, but tells him what his future name will be as well (referring to Matthew 16:18). Peter, a man of certain purpose, but he also had some pretty stinky times in his life.
- He and the other disciples prevent children from coming to Jesus (Mark 10:17)
- In selfish ambition he and the other disciples argued about who would be the greatest in Heaven (Mark 9:33)
- Peter rebukes the Lord about His foretelling of death (Matthew 16:22)
- Peter fell asleep as Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion (Matthew 26:40-45)
- Peter publically denies being associated with Christ and cusses to those who accuse him (Matthew 26:69-75)
- Peter leaves his apostleship and goes back to fishing (John 21:3)
Yet before and during all that Jesus refers to him as the rock. It is Peter that Christ comes to following His resurrection and instructs him three times “feed my lambs, feed my sheep, feed my sheep (John 21:15-17)
God knew that Simon would have some stinky moments in his life, but yet here I am in the year of 2017, almost 2,000 years later and I’m still talking about Peter and using him as an illustration of the love, patience and purpose of Christ Jesus in His life. Christ knew that too. I wonder if today Jesus and Peter are setting in Heaven and He says to Peter. “You thought you were messed up? Look at the life of Shari! And yet still I have purposes in her life that she’s about to discover!”
I wish I was better. I’m sure you wish you were too. But what you and I have to get a hold of is that even in the stinky times of life, Christ will be glorified if we allow the world to see that He loves the broken, stinky people. So like Peter, I will feed the lambs and the sheep in this place, in this season, till I am perfected in Him in Heaven.
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. ~ John 2:23-25
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