We had the privilege today of hearing from guest speaker Chris Simning. Chris has overcome many obstacles of having a physical disability and delivers a powerful message. You may want to watch this one online!
Chris began his message with a funny story to relay the message that in our pride or insecurities, we try to make ourselves look good or acceptable to the world. We think that if we do certain things or be a certain way, we will be pretty, worthwhile, and important. But this is just wasting time! We are investing in the wrong things and searching for truth within a lie.
God wants to give us His hope, grace, and glory. He doesnt make junk. He made you and you are beautiful to Him. He can use any weakness in your life and turn it into His glory. In 1 Corinthians 1, the apostle Paul is writing to fellow believers in Christ who want to be sanctified. He lets them know that they are enriched in every way, (verse 5) and do not lack any spiritual gift (verse 7). They are confirmed!
God wants to give us His hope, grace, and glory. He doesnt make junk. He made you and you are beautiful to Him.
Many times we treat the Lord like a fast food restaurant. We know what we want so well that we dont even look at the menu. We just drive up and place the order, and we want it now. Then if we dont get what we want immediately, we lose heart and walk away because things dont look pretty, the way we think they should.
But everywhere in Scripture God works on His terms and timing, not ours. Hes not going to leave you forsaken. He made you, remember? He loves you and has good plans for you! Just as Paul tells the Corinthians, as a Christ follower you dont lack a thing. Youre confirmed. So what are you doing with your life? Are you wasting it trying to look as the world wants you to?
This leads us to Chris life verses further into chapter 1 of 1 Corinthians: 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 thingsand the things that are notto nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
No human is perfect. We all struggle. Chris shared with us today that he hates being gawked at and judged. He often feels despised by the world, lonely, and even ugly. In those times, he is not recognizing the beauty God sees in him. But God uses the ugly things, the things that make us feel utterly weak and foolish, to let us feel the power of the cross in and through our lives. He is working within us. We dont measure up to the worlds view, but God asks that we let Him take over where we fail. He is the Lord, our Savior and King who can turn ashes to beauty! He turns everything upside-down so that what was once weak and foolish is now strong and wise.
Here Chris shared some photos from his life. First was a picture of Chris in 5th grade, posing next to his typewriter. He had a fine motor disorder which made writing difficult, so he used the typewriter, but for all other physical appearances, looked and moved like a typical 5th grade boy. Then when he was in 8th grade, one morning he stepped out of bed and was unable to hold up his head. From that point, every day got worse people had to dress him, bathe him, clean up his messes. His life felt hopeless, facing an everyday battlefield of image and self-esteem issues. As a senior in high school Chris was not expected to live very long. He shared pictures from his prom, graduation, and a visit with Bill Cosby. Then in college, to fulfill a PE credit, Chris took a swimming class that began to change his life. The therapeutic quality of the water gave him the ability to move in a different way. He began to walk in the water, then on land. And now he is walking, driving, and has been a public speaker for eleven years! Who would have thought that this could be his life?
So, what is the foolishness in your life the thing that makes you feel weak, ashamed, despised? Could it be that God wants to use those insecurities in your life and turn the ashes to beauty? He wants to use you now, not tomorrow or next week, because He already sees your beauty. He doesnt need you to put on a fake face and be pretty to the world. In that process, youre wasting time with things that will not last or satisfy. God sees you, understands you, and wants you to trust Him with your life. Will you give over to Him those things that are weighing you down? He made us to be vessels of his hope, using our foolishness for His glory, our weaknesses for His strength.