A message from Jason Williamson, missions pastor.
“I don’t think so, Tim.”
Ah, the wisdom of Al Borland, Tim Taylor’s trusted sidekick on the 90s sitcom, Home Improvement.
If you recall, Tim and Al hosted a DIY home improvement show called “Tool Time.” Tim was a bit of a diva. He wanted to run every project, make everything bigger and better and most frequently, give things More Power! (insert caveman-ish grunting here)
But, when it came to actually executing the project, Tim always messed something up. His handiwork was usually accompanied by a crash, explosion or perhaps some injury to Al or himself. Despite his best intentions, Tim Taylor was completely incapable.
Honestly, I’m much the same way. I’m quite incapable. I am not just talking about with home repair, although, my mantra is, “a trip to Lowe’s is never complete without a second trip to Lowe’s.” I’m referring to my ineptitude and inability to be effective at most anything. This has been a chronic problem my whole life.
There was a part of my life for a couple years where I was completely unable to care for myself. Anytime I wanted to eat, I had to scream until food was brought to me. Often, I would even soil myself and have to writhe in it until someone would change me.
I’m kidding, of course.
My example being an infant may seem a bit of an extreme, but a good one when it comes to being incapable. As an infant, we are unable to care for ourselves. We can’t walk. We can’t talk. We can’t entertain ourselves. We can’t make decisions. We all had that experience in common. We had to rely on our parents or caregivers to care for us. We require someone with capable hands to provide for us, nourish us, love us, hold us, clothe us, bathe us, change us and make sure we healthy and growing. It’s no different decades later, except that I can go to the bathroom by myself.
At 21, the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin and saved me through repentance and faith. I left behind the insecurity of my ways for his blanket of security. I still need to have capable hands to guide me in life, help me make decisions, provide money and food for me, keep me healthy and love me. I require the capable hands of God.
At 32, it was by God’s provision that I had a successful career filled with friendships, accolades, nice bonuses and top-notch opportunities for growth and advancement. It is also by God’s provision that I was convicted by the Holy Spirit to desire a career change as He called me in to ministry. In the history of drastic, life-altering career changes, there has been none as easy as the one I went through. I left the parking lot of my corporate career with hardly a glance in the rearview. I had the chance to become the first missions pastor at the Mill – my home church. It was a job that only God could have provided. This was where I was baptized, discipled, invested in, empowered and loved.
None of that would have been possible without the capable hands of Christ. It was because of his death that I had the opportunity to be saved. It was because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit that I was saved. It is by the Word of God that I continue to be sanctified. God is responsible for creating me, converting me and completing me. Without Him, I would have remained an unwashed sinner and someone who deserved death instead of eternal life.
Over the last 36 years, God’s capable hands molded me. He stripped out insecurities, he removed some imperfections (there are still a lot left). He is making me into the purpose he intended. God’s capable hands provided others in my path; mentors, pastors, friends and a wife that aided in my discipleship.
“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of God.” — Ephesians 4:11-13
At the Mill, we’re encouraged to Gather, Grow, Give and Go. Our fears in doing these things are typically rooted in insecurity in ourselves. I used to be nervous going to worship because I came from a different denomination. I used to be worried about going to small group because I thought I was the only one without answers. I was fearful to give my hard earned paycheck. I was selfish with my time. I thought I was incapable of effectively sharing the Gospel.
Without Christ I was just incapable.
Now, I’m in capable hands. And so are you. It’s time to Go.