From Your Furiously Bailing Brother

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. John 13:20

When we cry out to God for a word of hope, or direction, or consolation – sometimes we hear, sometimes we don’t – but God always responds.

We believe if God sends His response to us through a person, we would definitely hear what they had to say, believe them, and act on their message. And it’s true, it’s easy for us to receive a word from a source we admire, like our pastor, a favorite author, or a trusted friend. But when God tries to speak to us through people we don’t respect, or like – we refuse to hear it from them. It would require us to stoop to listen – and worst of all, it would require us to give that unworthy person honor.

But when we remember, that when it comes to virtue, we are all bailing the same leaky boat; and when we consider that God wants to shine His light through all His children, without exception, it becomes a little easier to open our eyes to other sources of light. We should welcome the words God speaks to us through the likely sources, but we should also look around eagerly, like for hidden eggs at Easter, for His light to shine through the unlikely too.

This is scary, because if we can’t trust the person speaking, how can we trust their message? Can’t they send us off in the wrong direction? Not if we apply wisdom. When we receive the Light from someone we receive Jesus, and when we receive Jesus we also receive the Father. This can only happen through the power of the Holy Spirit – so we can pray for discernment, and believe we’ll receive it.

Of course, we have to pick through what we hear carefully. People often try to insert themselves into the word God is speaking through them. Sometimes God wants them to share an insight into something we need to change in our life and instead of bringing the correction with love, as they are supposed to, they barb the message with a little personal bitterness. It would be a simple, understandable thing to reject the whole message – but through humility, and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can eat the fish and spit out the bones – receiving the truth and rejecting the lies.

And it’s as much a trick to reject the lies as it is to receive the truth. The lies can appear like little shiny candies, calling out to our appetite for ugly things like self-pity and pride. We have to resist them and go for the meat of the word from God. Otherwise we certainly can get off track.

But I think, most of the time, it’s so much simpler than that. I think most of the time God is just wanting us to know He’s there, so He sends us messages of love thorough the people around us. Sometimes we value these messages and sometimes we don’t – but we rarely see them for what they are. That’s because we are looking at the messenger as the author of the message. We don’t see God behind it all – supplying us with our daily bread of His love.

People can make pretty messages – receive those for what they are worth. But when the message comes from God – and you will know it, because it will help to sustain you – receive that message as from your Father.

Who has He sent to you? Look around. Don’t be surprised to find God smiling – shining His light of love on you through many broken windows.

Blessings & Love,



  1. Reply
    george Sayler says

    Wonderful message Steve, thank you. It has the makings of a good sermon.

  2. Reply
    Charlie Branch says

    Thank you, Steve. Thanks to growing faith, I’m more open to those messages than I used to be. (Including a great visit to tour Moody Aviation’s training facilities on Tuesday, followed by an emergency call to shore up a back porch roof at a home on 19th. I recalled the recent ambulance call for two guys who attempted to remove ice from a mobile home entry roof and had it collapse on them. Pacs and chains, and good ears…)

Post a comment

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Pinterest