About fifteen years ago, a woman named Judy Reamer taught a women’s retreat for our church and used an illustration I will always remember. She wanted to illustrate the wonderful revelation of who we are in Christ. She spread out on the table before the pulpit a collection of different sorts of gloves. One was a garden glove used only to pull weeds out of the garden and shield the hand from the soil and other dangers of yard work. Another was a sleek, black glove worn with formal attire. Another was a surgical glove, rather unattractive, but able to stretch over the hand fitting so tightly that it resembled skin. The lesson was clear. Regardless of each glove’s purpose and appearance, the same hand fit all of them.
This is the mystery of Christ in you, the hope of glory, the central point of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Regardless of your outer appearance and the tasks for which God the Father created you, there is a place for the Master’s hand inside each one of us. Jesus wants to “wear us” to accomplish His wonderful plan of redemption. I think the one I would rather be is the surgical glove, fitting the hand of Jesus so well that the slightest discernible inclination of the Holy Spirit warrants an immediate response from me. I want my life to be like “the Holy Spirit wearing a glove called Melinda Fish.” I want to be filled with all the fullness of God and so in harmony with His desires that God can use me to accomplish His purpose for me and use me to touch other people. Maybe that is why during the last several years I have felt so stretched!
How about you? I will bet you want to do the same regardless of which glove you want to be. In the end, the type of glove does not matter. The Hand inside of it determines whether it fulfills its purpose.
Jesus said to His disciples, “I am with you now; but I will be in you,” as though He could not wait for it to happen. Jesus only did what He “saw” His Father do and knew that if He did not go away, the Holy Spirit could not slip inside of men and finish His Father’s plan. So He still has a wonderful plan to finish, and He wants to do it “wearing” each one of us. I want to accommodate myself to Him for as long as He wants to use me.
What a relief. I am just the glove. His power and ability are the source that accomplishes anything.
In this issue of Spread the Fire, you will read the testimony of Ron and Kimberley Cipcic, pastors in Grand Rapids, Michigan who are planting a church in the River abandoning old methods and yielding to the power of God that they have discovered in this outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Originally Published May/April 2005 Editor Melinda Fish