This is a guest post from a very good friend of mine and fellow young writer, Sara Willoughby~
All You Have to Be is a Dead Stick
We were at a potluck for a baptism, and an older man, a family friend, came up to me with some encouragement to share. I’m not sure quite how the conversation began, but the biggest thing that I remember was his analogy about a dead stick. He told me that all he or I or you have to be is a dead stick. You see, he continued on to explain about Aaron’s staff budding in Numbers 17 in the Bible.
A staff is something that is generally a sign of physical weakness, lack of stability, or something of the like, right? It’s not something that we associate with accomplishing great things or producing a lot of fruit. More than that, it’s dead! It’s not actively doing anything. But yet, by God’s power, Aaron’s staff miraculously budded against all expectation. Budding was something it clearly could not do on its own, but through God it did. God can use even a dead stick for His purpose and glory.
The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds. -Numbers 17:8 (NIV)
Often times it’s easy for us to feel unqualified, or to feel too weak, young (see 1 Tim 4:12), not smart enough, or not the ideal perfect candidate for God to use. Have you ever felt that way? I know I have! But the thing is, it doesn’t matter to God. He doesn’t care if we are the best qualified or not… He can take care of all of that! But He won’t force our heart. Our hearts are what matters. If our hearts are wholly and completely surrendered to God, He can truly do anything through us! He can use a boy to defeat a giant. He can use unschooled and ordinary men to lead and start His church. He can use a man who stutters to lead a nation. He can use a boy to feed a crowd. He can use a slave to save Egypt.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength…. 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. -1 Corinthians 1:25 & 27-29 (NIV)
1 Corinthians 1 verse 17 also talks about emptying the cross of its power if Paul had spoken with eloquence. Wow! That’s a strong statement.We can empty the cross of its power by doing things in our own strength. Serving God is not about us in any way, shape, or form. It’s about God. It doesn’t matter what we can do or not do, what matters is God. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says that in our weakness, God’s power is made perfect- it’s no longer clouded by our own attempts and skills, but all can clearly see that it’s God working in us, not us. So take comfort! All we have to be is a dead piece of wood, willing to surrender to God’s way and will.