And while I’m certain he made several other great points and analogies, my heart just hung on that one for a while.
My mind immediately pictured a pretty white, fresh off the shelf at Lowes, PVC pipe that could represent the “me” bringing water to where ever God called me to in my life.
I had it all worked out in my mind that I could be that pipe, and be ready when He called. I spoke a good line and wrote a good word and I honestly believed in my heart that I had everything needed and stored up for when God called my number.
I’d stand up in the “waiting area” of life with that numbered slip in hand, my PVC shined up and new, ready to stand tall to shout, “Here I am, Lord.” I’d get right to hooking up to the source of the water and “bring it!”
And then it happened.
But not as I had planned or expected; my number was called. I’m not proud to admit that I hesitated, uncertain if I heard right, because the path my number pointed down was the complete opposite direction from that which I was happily facing.
I went to grab my toolbelt and slowly stood to move, when I realized that I wasn’t really all that prepared to go. My heart sank as the fuzzy scene of me, running to meet my destiny and others cheering me on, with just the right tools on my belt, began to buzz and shake like a bad dream in a “B-movie”… and “POOF” all my self-made confidence to move forward vanished.
I was not prepared as I dreamed. Nope. Not today. My pride had inflated my idea of preparation.
That day, I was moving in slow motion and no one was even noticing that my number was called. I had to act like I knew what to do and hold back the tears as a lump formed in my throat.
It’s time to “Grow up and Show up,” I told my self. I prayed to my Lord for strength as I stepped into my new path and began to serve Him and do all that I could to fulfill the call He placed on me.
I had asked Him to use my life and knew that it wouldn’t always be as I expected, so I had to hold it together and use everything I knew how.
The path began rather flat and easy but then I found my feet falling on rocky ground and the slope became much steeper. I held on, gritted my teeth and prayed a bit harder each moment. I can do this.
About six weeks into it, I was finally to the point of giving this everything I could possibly muster. I had let other priorities in my life completely fall to the wayside in order to make certain that I take care of this.
…that “I” take care of this.
And as my numb feet stumbled day after day through the trenches that seemed to bog me down in frustration, I faced new doubts and fears that I really was just not enough.
When finally, I came to an abrupt halt. Tripping and stumbling blindly in the dark, crying in frustration, agonizing over wasted time, and failing my perfectionistic goals, I find myself flat on my face.
Slowly, I sit up, spitting and swallowing to try to clear the grit from my mouth. I blink to clear my vision as the tears begin to stream down my cheeks.
I look down. How was I so mislead by pride? Now, I see clearly the kind of pipe I really have to offer…
That shiny new PVC of white, fresh off the shelf at Lowes. Ha! That’s funny to me now. That was a dream!
In all actuality, I’m quite rusty, beat up and bent, cracked, patched and worn in several places. And when the pressure builds up and the nozzles are turned on full, it takes everything I’ve got to, literally, hold it together.
But God didn’t ask me to lug around a heavy tool belt and bring with me all my “baggage.” He didn’t ask me to try to fix things in my own strength and to work at it with all my own knowledge. He KNOWS that I’m not capable to handle the pressure when it builds up.
He picked me out from the salvage heap, knowing that I was the rusty, old piece of scrap pipe. He sized me up and knew EXACTLY what He was getting the minute He purchased me…
With His sacrifice.
With His death and resurrection.
With His love.
And He wants to use me just as I am to prove that it’s not the strong things of this world that get His purposes accomplished. This is a flawed, weak and powerless place.
He wants us to let Him work through us! He wants us to let His glory shine.
He uses the weak and the powerless things of this world to confound the wise, (1 Cor 1:26-29) so that no man can boast.
It’s amazing how tired I am after one day of trying to “hold it all together” by myself while I “think” I’m trusting God. My grip gets weak and my whole body aches from the strain of carrying MY load.
What a “pipe dream!” Now I get that phrase. I totally thought I had it all figured out.
Letting go sounds like such an easy thing to do when you’re talking to someone else.
But, now I realize that control is an addiction.
Control is MY addiction.
How did Jesus give up control to become human? Philippians 2:6-11 tells us how “…he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself nothing…”
Help me Lord! That is the prayer of this rusty, leaky, worthless scrap that you lifted from the heap. That you paid for with the value of your life!
I want to open my hands, loosen my grasp, and simply let Your glory flow through me. How refreshing that would be, not just to those I am serving, but to myself as well.
I love You, my Lord, with every cell in my being.
I love You, my King and bow to Your holy name.
I love You, my God and open my hands to You.
Please, Lord God, use my weakness to glorify You!
Use my rusty, leaky, worn out scraps that could do nothing good on their own.
Fill me to overflowing with Your Spirit, which is the ONLY good in me.
Show the world Your glory!
Let me not just get wet, but be the vessel that brings refreshment to those that are thirsty and in need Your living water.
After all, no one really notices or cares about how the water got to the faucet…
No one sees the “behind the scenes” pipe in the wall that brings it to their glass…
they just want it to quench their thirst!