The Aorta Blog The Aorta | The largest artery in the body & primary blood vessel which carries oxygenated blood out of the heart to the rest of the body. The Pastor | The main speaker in the body of Christ & the primary teacher who shines the light of Christ to the rest of the body.
God has a history of fixing the broken experiences. God will wade into the most desperate of situations, choose the least-likely person sitting on the sidelines to be his helper, and then create the most impossible redemption imaginable.
Let me share a few examples. The universe, of course, begins with nothing. How do you create a universe from nothing? I don’t know. But God did. From a man and a woman, the human species. If once wasn’t enough, God did it again in the desperate situation of Noah’s sinful day. God took one poor fellow and his family, and from that tiny speck of a starting point, God rebuilt mankind. Again. God wanted to make a holy people for himself, a godly people in a world of pagans. Another desperate situation. But God waded right in and chose the two most unlikely people possible. An old man and an old woman. Naturally, God chose that infertile couple to create a people as numerous as the stars of the sky. Just to make it even more impossible, Sara laughed at the idea of having children. She knew a lot of biology and she laughed at the idea of a child. See? God always starts at the worst possible place.
Sometimes God begins with even less than nothing. God says, in my loose translation, “Moses, my people are in desperate straits. I want to save them from slavery in Egypt. Therefore, I will send you to save my people.” Faced with this stunning moment in salvation history, Moses began to make excuses – “No, no, no. I’m a shepherd. The elders won’t believe me. I failed public speaking and I murdered a man.” Wah. Wah. Wah. Moses was less than nothing because he wanted to refuse the chance of a lifetime. A man with no sense of history.Maybe that’s why God chose Moses, the most negative man in history – so at the end of the day when God’s people were free no one would say: Moses saved Israel. Only God could do such a thing.
More examples: Consider the impossible desperation of Rahab, Ruth and Esther. These three women changed the course of history, not because they wanted to, but because God put them into his plan and accomplished his purpose in them. Just trying to get along in life, they were chose to go center stage and change the course of history.
When God wanted to save his people for all time with Jesus. God waded right into the worst time in history (Roman cruel rule) and chose the least-likely person – a single, young woman. Not a chance in the world she could be the mother of the Savior by any conventional reckoning.
Ah, but there you have it: God doesn’t have conventional reckoning. God has a way of doing what can’t be done with the exact person who can’t do the one and only thing God wants done.
There’s a reason the women who prayed by the river near Philippi are mentioned in Acts. These people have so little status they meet out of town. Of course, they become pillars of the church. If I may interject a personal note. There is a reason that most pastors in CK met for weekly prayer in the early 1990s, and it wasn’t because the pastors decided to. It was related to a band of nameless woman who prayed a long time for the pastor to have the grace to meet together. We must be clear: You won’t find many Christian heroes born into position and power. God’s way is to wade into a desperate situation, to enlist the least-likely person imaginable, and finally to accomplish his purpose for his own glory.
Let’s skip ahead two thousand years to 2020. Our time is troubled, as you know. Desperate. We have a global health crisis, a shaken economy, increased stratification between the poor and the rich. Unemployment is looming here and is present around the globe. We have a likely resurgence of COVID. None of this is good. Racial tensions exploded, and the past month has been a whirlwind of repressed anger venting in sometimes destructive ways. There is no simple cure for centuries of injustice. It feels desperate some days, like there is less than nothing to build upon.
Humankind is still enslaved to sin in all its many forms. We are running negative numbers on many fronts. This is a time for us to remember that out of nothing God can create a universe. From two old people, a family. From bondage in Egypt, freedom in the Promised Land. God can create a people and rescue a people with nothing more than his will to do so. God specializes in using the least-likely, most negative and uncooperative people on the planet to create rescue and redemption. This is not a time for us to despair, but a time to pray for God to come save us one more time. Why would God bother? Seriously, why not just abandon us? Fair question. This is the answer.
In Exodus, while Moses, the whiner and complainer, was busy explaining why it was impossible for God to save His people, God says, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. God hears. God sees. God is concerned, Exodus says. Moses saw, but Moses didn’t care. He thought: Tough luck for the family in Egypt, but I am a free man. Let them save themselves. Why did God hear and see and care? Because, it is His way. Exodus 2:23-24 put it this way. When God heard the groaning of his oppressed people, he could not ignore it. It broke his heart. The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” A covenant is a promise. God promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that he would be their God for all time and that he would never abandon them. When they cried out to God from their bondage, God remembered his promise – that means, he knew it was time to take strong action to enforce his promise and to save his people.
Why does God get involved in our messes? Because God can’t break his own promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He can’t deny himself and his own promise.
Who knows where we will be one year from now? I certainly do not know. But of this I am confident: God will accomplish something from the negative mess we have made. He can use our negative and weak leaders or raise up new ones in a single afternoon if he chooses. The glory will go to God. And the side you want to be on is God’s. Because he always wins. Our hope is simple: The same God who waded into our desperate situations in history also waded into our history with his own son, Jesus. That one person, Jesus, impossibly overpowered by every imaginable circumstance, simply put his life in his Father’s hands and was obedient. The world has never been the same since God overpowered death right before our eyes.
Our world is a mess right now. We cry out to God for help. What do you think? Will God forget his promise to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob? Will God forget his family spread across every continent and in every nation and people and tribe and tongue? Absolutely not.