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What’s In The Black Bag?

the_wizard_of_oz_1939_the_wizards_storyThe NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas once said, “There is a difference between conceit and confidence. Conceit is bragging about yourself. Confidence means you believe you can get the job done.” 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 just have that look, you know, the look that says “I can do it.” 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 to try anything new, for fear of failing, maybe for the umpteenth time. It might be that the person feels under educated or under qualified. Maybe they see themselves as either too young or too old. Or maybe they see themselves as really having blown it big time, so they feel like damaged goods and not worth much. 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 God really have for me? I don’t have much to offer. You don’t know my past, and you don’t know the messes I have today. I don’t feel like there is anything in God’s bag for me.”

There is a scene from the “Wizard of Oz” 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 next Remember what Dorothy says? Many of us probably say it (or at least think it) when trying to find our place in God’s economy. Dorothy said “I don’t think there’s anything in that black bag for me.”

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. You might have heard this next statement – God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.

God has a plan and a purpose for your life. God tells us just that in Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 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 in order to point people to Jesus and partner with Him in meeting the real life needs of those around us.

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

Dave Garrett


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