Hebrews 13:20–21 (NIV): Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
A few years ago, my then-girlfriend invited me to visit her parent’s ranch for Thanksgiving. I was living in Texas at the time and was eager to spend a few days away from the city. I had grown up in the Midwest, visiting my grandparent’s grain farm to help with planting and harvesting, but I had never done “ranch work” before. Soon after arriving, I was roped into helping move cattle and sort for weaning.
I had no idea what I was doing.
My now father-in-law was gracious. His neighbors, who were also helping, tried hard to show me what to do. But, I know that I caused more work for them as I let cows in with the calves and spooked calves away from the chutes.
Many years have passed since that day. I can now push calves, brand, and vaccinate. Though I am definitely not a seasoned hand, I can pretend to keep up.
As I think back on that day, I am amazed that my father-in-law asked me to help. But, even more so, I am amazed that he asked me to help again, after how much I failed.
He reflected God to me. My father-in-law could have chosen any of his more experienced neighbors to help, but he wanted to pursue a relationship with me. He did not choose me because of my skills. Instead, he equipped me for the task so that I could join him in his work.
In the same way, God pursues a relationship with us, desiring that we join Him in His work. He does not expect us to be perfect as we do His task of showing love and speaking the truth. When we fail miserably, He encourages us to keep going, reminding us to rely on Him and His equipping, not ourselves.
What a gracious God.
Pastor of Calvary Bible Church, Neligh, NE. Missionary with RHMA. Husband to Maggie. Father to Grace, David, and Daniel. Saved by Jesus Christ