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What Is In the Black Bag?

We all know people who like to brag about themselves, but when the rubber hits the road their tires are often flat. We also know people who just seem to ooze confidence. They are like that scene from The Little Engine That Could, where the little blue railroad engine is chugging up the hill, trying to pull a long train over the mountain, while repeating the phrase “I think I can, I think I can” over and over again.

While we all know people who are confident, we probably know many more people who really doubt themselves. They are afraid, or lack the confidence, to try anything new. They think their seemingly low stature in life or the baggage from past experiences disqualifies them from being “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.” Is it possible that the person you know who thinks like that looks back at you in the mirror each morning?

God wants to use ordinary people like you to do extraordinary things. God is not concerned about your past. God sees you today and has big plans for you. Right now you might be saying, “What can I possibly have that is useful to God? I don’t have much to offer.”

There is a scene from the Wizard of Oz (click here) where the wizard has just given the Scarecrow a diploma, the Cowardly Lion a medal, and the Tin Man a heart-shaped pocket watch. After each receives his gift from the wizard it is Dorothy’s turn. Remember what Dorothy said – “I don’t think there’s anything in that black bag for me.” Many of us probably say that same thing (or at least think it) when trying to find our place in God’s economy.

Unlike Dorothy, however, there really is something in God’s bag for all of us. Not because of us, but rather, only because of God. On our own we have nothing to offer God. He is not looking for qualified people. It has nothing to do with rich or poor, young or old, male or female, black or white, college degree or GED, or any of those other markers we use to categorize ourselves and others. The world looks for people willing and able. God on the other hand, looks for people willing and available. When God was choosing the next king, he used a different criteria for choosing a leader than did the world. Here is what we read in 1 Samuel 17:6 – “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on his height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.’”

God has a plan and a purpose for your life. First and foremost, He calls us into a personal relationship with Him through the crucified and resurrected Christ. Second, He calls us to seek after Him with all we are and all we have. God is simply looking for you to say, “Yes, use me.”

So today, you can have confidence that there really is something in that black bag for you!!!

Dave Garrett

New  Bern, North Carolina


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