When they came to the crowd, a man met Jesus. He knelt before him, saying, “Lord, show mercy to my son. He is epileptic and suffers terribly, for he often falls into the fire or the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.” Jesus answered, “You faithless and crooked generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Then Jesus spoke harshly to the demon. And it came out of the child, who was healed from that time on. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and said, “Why couldn’t we throw the demon out?” “Because you have little faith,” he said. “I assure you that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Go from here to there,’ and it will go. There will be nothing that you can’t do” (Matthew 17:14-20, Common English Bible).
At one of the churches I served we had a southern gospel quartet who came and performed. We served them lunch following the concert. I was able to share the meal time with one of the group. As we talked I told him, “If I could do whatever I wanted, I would sing bass in a quartet.”
I am a preacher. And, while I am fortunate enough to sing bass with a barbershop chorus, I am not a gifted singer. I am fortunate that I have a career, a calling in something I love doing.
I really like to think that more often than not, my sermons are something from which people can grow in their faith. But, I also realize that it isn’t because of my skills, but God who is at work in me.
When I first started in the ministry, the idea if having to prepare a sermon every week scared me death. I knew I didn’t have that much to say. I have never been afraid to talk but I knew I was going to need something to say for about 20 minutes every week. It was able to happen, again not because of me but in spite of me. I am also convinced it happened because I prayed, “Lord, give me the faith I need to do this job.” It wasn’t always about the preaching or sermon preparation. That first hospital visit was also pretty frightening.
In our lesson today Jesus heals a young man the disciples had been unable to heal. Jesus said the reason was a lack of faith. He tells us if we have faith the size of a mustard seed there is nothing we can’t do.
So what does that say about my dream of singing bass in a quartet? Well, I do know this, singing bass isn’t my calling. And, God has given me all I need and continues to give me what I need to fulfill my calling in life. As for the singing bass part? I have a gift from God there too. When I came to Sweeny God lead me to the Coastalaires. To sing with them lets me have some of that experience that for me is beyond anywhere I ever thought I might be. All I can say is, “Lord give me faith. Faith to preach and faith to sing.” I am blessed.
What do you want to do? What are you called to do? Do you pray for God to give you faith?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved