At The Elisha Foundation retreat last week there were a lot of people involved in making it happen, people at various stages in their understanding of God’s sovereignty and goodness over all things. One of the men knew the day his son with disabilities was born that he would be in ministry to other families experiencing disability. Two of the other men involved walked away from God and the church entirely.
So, it would just make sense that the man who was called into this ministry would lead the sessions, right?
The man who has walked with God consistently, Justin Reimer, was the one running around doing administrative work to provide this experience for the families. And the two men who spent seasons away from God and the church were the ones leading sessions in the word.
How weird is that?
Of course, Americans love the redemption stories of the “good” man who lost everything, but through hard work and a little luck gained it all back.
This isn’t that story.
Greg Lucas, who led the teaching time, and I, who led the parent session, both walked away from God and the church for a season. At our lowest moments, if I understood Greg’s story correctly, neither of us was looking for God, seeking his favor, or even wanting him to be active in our lives. There certainly wasn’t anything good about us.
BUT GOD (Ephesians 2:4-7) breathed life into our dead hearts and gave us Jesus as our righteousness when there was nothing righteous about us.
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow. Jesus Paid It All by Elvina Hall
I met a young man this week in deep pain over very hard circumstances in his life; he’s struggling. I thought about Greg’s story and my story – and we talked about a God who does miracles, like the one I’ve experienced in my life.
I once thought disability was a curse, and it was the reason I left the church. Instead, God used it to break my pride-filled heart and call me close to him. It is all his doing.
Never give up in prayer for someone like I was. God is never constrained in his work, even by the greatest of sin.