Sun, 20 January 2019
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “God can hit a straight lick with a crooked stick.” The basic meaning is that God can take imperfect instruments, like you and me, and do amazing things.
How old a saying is it, you may ask? Well, here’s a version of it from over 300 years ago:
"Do not contemne thy weak brother. God can raise his thoughts, or direct his follie to a happie end, he can make him an Instrument of glorie, who is now a subject of weaknesse, and can strike a streight stroake with a crooked stick." –Edward Corbet in a sermon to the House of Commons 1642
But I can go back further than 300 years ago. Let’s go back some 2,000 years. In 1 Cor. 1:26-28 the Apostle Paul by inspiration of the Spirit of God writes,
“26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”
You know what Paul is, in effect, saying? He is saying that God hits straight licks with crooked sticks. God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
A great recent example of this is the current head football coach of the Clemson Tigers. His name is Dabo Swinney. He has led his Clemson team to 2 national championships. He knows and admits that he is an ordinary person through whom God has done and is doing extraordinary things.
He is the product of a broken home. His parents divorced and his father was an alcoholic. When he went to college to play football, his mother came with him and lived in his apartment because she had nowhere else to go. He lived through some tough times. He credits the Lord for bringing him through the tough times of life. He gave his life to Jesus as a 16-year-old.
His post-game interview after winning the national championship game this year as underdogs was so good! In part he said,
“And I know we’re not supposed to be here. We’re just little ol’ Clemson, and I’m not supposed to be here. But we are, and I am! . . . Hey listen, I hope that you get a little hope from us and a little inspiration that hey, if we can do it, anybody can do it. And I mean that. If a guy like me — I said this two years ago — you can’t write a Hollywood script like this. Only God can do this, and that’s a fact. And people may think I’m crazy or quacky or whatever, but only God can orchestrate this. No Hollywood producer can write it. But I’m just telling ya, if I can do it, if these Clemson Tigers can do it, hey, anybody can do it if you have a belief . . . .”
This coming Sunday, in our continuing walk through the Old Testament book of Judges, we’re going to meet some ordinary people through whom God did some extraordinary things. He can hit “straight licks with crooked sticks.”
Join us at Istrouma!
Carousel: The Broken Heroes of Judges
“Straight Licks and Crooked Sticks”