I have fallen and gotten back up so many times in my life. Mostly because of alcohol and just plain stubbornness. The fact that I am writing here is a testament to God’s faithfulness that He will not let go of us even when we try to get away. Jonah found this out and I did too. God called me to become a preacher in 1983 but I didn’t want to. I knew who He was and I knew about the salvation that was offered through belief in Jesus but I didn’t want to proclaim it as a preacher.
I felt that I had done too many things wrong in my teenage years. Everyone in my school knew about the drunk that I was. I had wrecked two cars that my Mom had allowed me to use. I had spent many days recovering from those injuries in the hospital during different school years but still…the effect on my “reputation” was the same. I knew that I could not preach salvation in our community because my crown was bent in more than one way.
The thing that I didn’t realize about Jesus was this: He doesn’t require us to be perfect. He changes us so we can be His representative wherever we are. Even if the people in your community know how you were or what you did, He can change you so that your message is fresh and meaningful to those who hear it. God has used so many flawed people over the years and He can use your witness regardless of how deeply you stepped off of the path to Him. It doesn’t matter how far you got from Him, He can bring you back to the pathway that He needs you on.
Give Jesus a chance and He can make you into His disciple and His missionary to whoever He needs you to talk to. It may be only one person that you can have an influence on but He knows that you are the only person who can do it.