Monday, 12/31/18 – Pressing on…

Stained hands –

Charlie Brown holds up his hands before his friend Lucy and says, ‘These are hands which may some day accomplish great things. These are hands which may some day do marvelous works! They may build mighty bridges, or heal the sick, or hit home runs, or write soul-searching novels! These are hands which may someday change the course of destiny!’

Lucy, who always sees things as they are, replies, ‘They’ve got jelly on them.’ *

Anticipation… dreams…. Hopes for the future… “some day…”

We all know what it is to dream, to hope of something better – especially on the dawn of a new year. Perhaps this year is the year of “some day…”

But we don’t need a Lucy to tell us these hands have jelly on them. Alas! There is a flaw! That very real reality hurts. It shatters dreams. We stand frozen, staring at our jellied limbs. Why try? Let me tell you why — Everyone’s hands have jelly on them!

Thomas Edison had difficulty with speech and words and a mind that wandered. Bruce Willis had trouble with stuttering. Richard Branson dealt with dyslexia. Far from just having jelly on his hands Nick Vujicic was born with no limbs at all!

The apostle Peter was rash and impulsive, always running headlong into trouble. St. Paul had a reputation as “a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man” (1 Tim. 1:13). In fact apart from Christ each of us is “without hope and without God in the world.” (Eph. 2:12). Damaged goods!

But the exciting news is this: it is the broken people who have the greatest hope!

Look at Christ’s sermon on the mount (Matt. 5:3-12), to whom is it addressed: the poor in spirit… those who mourn… the meek… those who long for righteousness… the persecuted and the slandered. See what things God has chosen: the foolish things… the weak things… the lowly things… the despised things, the “nothing” things (1 Cor. 1 :27-28). These are the ones through whom God best displays His miracles! Why? “so that no one may boast before him.” (v.29).

THANK Him for this privilege. Move into 2019 with a true hope, a solid faith, be it with a stammer on your lips like Moses, a trembling heart like Gideon, a limp like Jacob, or with jelly on your hands like Charlie Brown. It does not matter. In Him we are “more than conquerors!” (Rom. 8:37).

Ponder and Wonder “O how Great is our God!”

More tomorrow…

* John C. Maxwell, Developing the Leader Within You, Thomas Nelson Pub., Nashville, 1982, p. 151.

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