Tomato Wars

When I was a child, the neighbor kids and I would race around the yard, playing games of tag and war. My mother had a big garden and in it were her prized tomatoes. She always had the best in the neighborhood. Our common choice of weapon in these backyard games was a fallen, rotten tomato from her garden. I’d weave through the tall stakes and look for an overripe, red or green ball of mush, and pop out of the garden just in time to hit a foe as I ran across to the safety of home base (the locust tree). It felt so good to run, to war, and to wrestle.

Now that I am an adult, I find myself feeling differently about tomato wars. Life has become more complex. I now dislike confrontation, and it is not as easy to laugh when you take a big, rotten tomato to the face.

Most likely we’ve all seen a cartoon, drama, or protest in which tomatoes or other produce were thrown in contempt of the person on the platform. I often feel like this person. I feel attacked. I feel as though I am talent-less or mediocre at best in all that I do. I feel alone on a stage, and judged according to every move I make. However, most of the time it is because I am the one throwing the tomatoes at myself.

Today, I thought of Moses. When God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush and gave him a job to do, he answered in a very curious way. First, he doubted the people’s response to the message because of his credibility. He said in Exodus 4:1, “But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.” In response, God demonstrates His power by turning Moses’ rod into a serpent. Moses was taken back in fear. God then gives Moses the ability to use the rod to do miracles. Still, doubting God’s plan, Moses questions his own abilities to perform this task. Exodus 4:10 says, “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”

Moses tried to pull the disabled card. He tried to disqualify himself for the job. It could be because he simply didn’t want to do it, but it also could have been his own insecurities. Perhaps he thought that because of his disability, he would be a hindrance to this ministry, and that the work would be better accomplished by someone else. How many times have I done this to myself!

Whatever role we fill, most likely we know someone else who is better. You may be around someone who is a better writer, a better musician, a better speaker, a better craftsman, but that doesn’t mean you should quit or that God cannot use you. When God chooses you to do something, it is not because He found you talented and marveled at your abilities. It is by God’s power that we do anything at all, not our own abilities.

God answered Moses in verses 11 and 12, “And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or Who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”

God was determined to use Moses to deliver His message. Moses still doubted God’s plan, and even though God was angry, He gave Moses a tool, Aaron. While Aaron was used to speak physically, God still used Moses to be the leader and perform this job. God spoke to Moses; Moses spoke to Aaron; and Aaron spoke to the people. God could have said, “I will just go ahead and use Aaron then since he is a much better speaker than you;” but He didn’t. God insisted on using Moses. God chose the imperfect mouthpiece to deliver His perfect message.

I challenge you today that if God puts something in your heart to do, that you do it. Do not look at the abilities of others, and then eliminate yourself or other people who you think aren’t good enough. Do not devalue who God made you to be. Find His plan for your life and do it with all your might. When you feel overwhelmed or insufficient, God will bring you the help and encouragement you need. Maybe He will provide an “Aaron” to hold up your arms and rally others to join the work you are doing for the Lord.

Above all, remember that out of all the people God has made on this earth, He has only made one of you. You are special to Him even if are mediocre in your talents, even if you carry a burden from a physical ailment or disability, even if you feel you have nothing to give, and even if you feel like you are alone. He has a purpose and a plan for you.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13.

-Andy

2 comments

  1. It is hard sometimes to follow through with what the Lord knows you can achieve. It is easier to tell yourself someone could do this better. But trust in the Lord and you can do all things for his glory. Love your blogs!

    Liked by 1 person

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