I'm On Your Side
21 November 2015
Reading: Colossians 2; Proverbs 24
I want you to realize that I continue to work as hard as I know how for you, and also for the Christians over at Laodicea. Not many of you have met me face-to-face, but that doesn’t make any difference. Know that I’m on your side, right alongside you. You’re not in this alone. (Colossians 2:1 MSG)
I was thinking of the stories in 1 Kings about Elijah and his powerful ministry in sinful Israel; how God used him to perform miracles, how God miraculously provided for him, and how he chose and began to prepare his successor. How different the life and story of Paul, now writing a letter from a prison cell to the church in the city of Colosse. Elijah and Paul were as different as could be, lived vastly different lives, kept different schedules, fulfilled different callings, performed different tasks for God.
Paul wrote volumes. Elijah wrote nothing. Paul was constantly surrounded by people; preaching, teaching, and mentoring. Elijah was often alone in the wilderness. Paul worked at the craft of canvas and leather-work much of the time to support himself. Elijah lived off what angels, ravens, and widows provided him. Different. But both of them were exactly who God had created them to be and doing exactly what God had created them to do. Two very different men, each powerfully used by God.
I remember a story Jean told to illustrate the importance of being who God made us to be and doing what God made us to do. There was a school for animals where ducks were taught to run, squirrels were taught to fly, eagles were taught to climb. Soon everyone was frustrated at trying to do things God had not created them to do, and everyone was functioning at a mere fraction of their God-given capacity.
The lesson: Learn who God created me to be and be that person. Learn what God created me to do and do that. The challenge: It’s easier to simply copy others!
Father, You created Elijah and Paul very different from each other. You provided for them in different ways and you used each of them to do exactly what needed to be done then and there. Please help me and my friends to be exactly the persons you created us to be and use us to do exactly what you created us to do. Help us to respect each others’ differences and rejoice in our uniqueness. In Jesus’ Name. May it be so.