As Is

9:36 AMHeather

You guys know how I love me a good bargain.  When I enter a store, I am drawn like a magnet to the clearance section--even at the Dollar Spot at Target!  Did you KNOW they mark that section down from time to time?  Now, I consider myself rather resourceful, so I ain't scared of a little "as is" tag attached to some great bargain.  At Hobby Lobby--I consider how I might cover that nick up with a little paint or repurpose that damaged good.  The distressed look is in, right?  And, when it comes to clothing, I no longer even consider sewing my own clothing, but I can sew on a button or repair a ripped seam.  

Many years ago, I was completing the study of Moses through Bible Study Fellowship.  I loved diving into the character study of this father of the faith.  I enjoyed hearing how God used Moses--as is.  I was encouraged by the truth that God will equip you for that which He calls you to.  Isn't that great?  No experience necessary.  No skills either.  He wants our AVAILABILITY--not our abilities.  In fact, God sometimes used those who weren't even willing initially.  Moses stared a burning bush in the face and carried on an audible conversation with God Almighty--saying he was NOT the one to do what God asked of him.

It's always blown my mind to consider how God uses US--with all our limits--to accomplish His purposes.  In fact, it's one of his favorite ways to show His greatness.  But, last night, I was truly overwhelmed with a truth I found in the pages of my Jonah study by Priscilla Shirer.  As we know, Jonah was God's prophet.  Yep, God's annointed and chosen one to tell the Ninevites to repent and turn to God.  And, Jonah, as we know, ran the other way.  But, God gave him a second chance.  In the belly of that big fish, Jonah chose to obey and agreed to go to Nineveh.   God is a God of second chances, after all.   But, there's more to that story.  God had a purpose and a call for Jonah--and not only did He show grace to give Jonah a second chance, but he chose to use Jonah even knowing how Jonah would struggle with that mission--and how the book of Jonah would end.

Can you imagine having a big job, hiring someone who then messes up, and giving them a second chance--even knowing they will ultimately complete their mission complaining to you and about you under a shade tree?  I'm not a big fan of bad attitudes.  My children know this well--which is a bit ironic since I constantly have to work on my own attitude.

It's just unbelievable to me that God has plans and purposes for me, knowing how limited I am when I begin those plans--and knowing how I will struggle through those plans and crash and burn in the process.  I wish I could really wrap my brain around that absolute and complete acceptance He has given me.  I might not be so prone to beat myself up when I fall short, when I do the job but with a poor attitude, when I fail to be who I know He wants me to be.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 
Ephesians 2:10

INTENTIONAL challenge:   We are God's creation--made to do GOOD works, which God has prepared for us.  God not only takes us "as is," but he knows how we will fall short throughout the process.  He knows that even his own prophet will do the job AFTER being given a second chance--and he will sulk and moan in the end.  He'll use him anyway.  He'll pick up and use that damaged good--knowing it will ALWAYS be damaged, knowing full well that this side of heaven, I will never completely be repaired.  And, we weren't even a bargain in the beginning!  He paid the ultimate cost.  Wowzers.  Lord, help me today to STOP being held back by my shortcomings, both before the job and throughout the job--because they don't stop you from choosing me.

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