Somewhere along the way, someone gave golf clubs the nickname of “crooked sticks.” In fact, if you Google that term, you’ll bring up a golf course in Indiana. Beautiful. Even boasts a red barn.
But this post has nothing to do with golf. It’s about usefulness, taken from a metaphor written several centuries ago:
“God can make a straight stroke with a crooked stick”
– John Watson, Puritan preacher.
I am a crooked stick—unlovely and full of imperfections.
Yet I take great encouragement from the fact God specializes in redeeming crooked sticks. The Bible gives dozens of examples. Abraham, Moses, David, Jonah, and Peter are just a few that readily come to mind.
Abraham took a shortcut which has negatively impacted his descendants ever since.
Moses was a murderer.
David committed adultery.
Jonah refused to follow God’s plan.
Peter was brash and impulsive.
Yet consider what God did through these crooked sticks.
Abraham became the father of God’s chosen people.
Moses led the chosen people from Egypt into the Promised Land.
David ruled Israel as a strong, much-loved Shepherd-King. Son of David became a title for God’s own Son.
Jonah brought an entire city to repentance.
Peter became a leader of the early church. His first sermon alone convinced 3,000 people to believe in Jesus and follow the Way.
* * * * * * * * * *
Heavenly Father, thank you for not discarding crooked sticks. Thank you for forgiving our foolish choices, lousy attitudes, wrong motivations, prideful actions, and somehow using us anyway to make straight strokes. As 2013 approaches, I pray you take the crooked stick of my life and produce positive strokes as only you can do.