Friday, December 11, 2009

The Misfits

This time of the year, Christmas specials are a dime-a-dozen on television. We caught one last night, "Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys". If you've seen it, you know the story. 'The Island of Misfit Toys' is the home of toys that no little boy or girl wants. Yukon, Hermey and Rudolph accidentally land on the island and ask King Moonraiser if they can stay since they're misfits, too. Unfortunately, the island is for toys alone, so he lets them stay the night, when Rudolph sneaks out on his own. They encounter toys that have something wrong with them. They find a boomerang that doesn't come back, a man that pops out of a musical box named Charlie (not Jack) and a piggy bank that doesn't have a coin slot. Each toy desperately wants to be what they were created to do.

How many Christians do you know of who act like they are a misfit? They had a broken marriage and can't seem to forgive their spouse? They were mistreated by someone and have come to believe they will never be accepted by anyone again? The dreams they once had for their life just dried up and haven't come to be? In some respects, we are all misfits. Because we feel broken in some sense, we can't seem to move on. We can't push forward with what God created us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." (NLV). Another version puts it like this, "Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do." (The Message).

God made us with a purpose, bruises as all. God still has a plan for your life and my life, although we may feel like He forgot about us quite some time ago. My favorite part in The Message version of this verse is, "All we do is trust him enough to let him do it." Scars should remind you of your past, not your future.

And at the end of the cartoon, Santa returns to the island to pick up the misfit toys to find them homes for Christmas. Isn't that what God does for us? God wants to put us in that special place of ministry--ministry to a family member, to a co-worker, or to a person who made different choices in their life than we did--God is just waiting on you and me to stop acting like a misfit toy.

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