“He can create something new in us...”
A Ranch “pray out” symbolizes just this - that God has created something new in the life of a student.
Upon their departure, our prayer is that He will bring to completion the work He has begun.
My grandparents grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, when large numbers of Americans struggled to get enough to eat. Those experiences shaped how they thought about resources. A piece of furniture broke? Let’s keep it–it may be fixable, even though it’ll take a while. Old National Geographics? Keep them, they’re good references. Unidentifiable tool/hardware? We may need it someday. But time is limited, so the stuff multiplies. And the collection of broken and unused things sits and some things never even get touched, let alone fixed or needed.
My generation grew up during a time of general prosperity and great opportunity, and I tend to think a little differently. Often I optimize by the value of time and storage space. How much time will it take to fix that nightstand? How much does a new one cost? Not sure it’s worth keeping. Old magazines? If I need something, I can probably find it online–toss them. Unidentifiable hardware? Pretty sure I’ll never need it, even if I had the skill to use it. But the collection of things I’ve disposed of probably contained items of value too.
There are pros and cons to both approaches, of course. Stewardship is a challenge, and we each do the best we can to organize and strategize and optimize. We aren’t the only ones deciding what to do with broken things. God is, too. His world is full of broken and damaged people. But He does not experience the limitations we do.
"No matter how broken we are or how much help we need, we’re never so broken He tosses us away. He keeps working, and working, and never stops working on us."
God is not limited by time. Even though His attention is priceless, He never discards us because He doesn’t have time for us. No matter how broken we are or how much help we need, we’re never so broken He tosses us away. He keeps working, and working, and never stops working on us.
God is not limited by ability, either. We are never beyond His skill level. There’s nothing about us that’s too difficult for God, and nothing we face that goes beyond His wisdom.
Have you ever wondered if you’re still fixable or usable? God is not assessing you to decide if you have value to Him. He already decided that, while He was hanging on a cross for you.
It doesn’t even matter if we’re “fixable.” He is the one who is able to “call into existence the things that do not exist.” He can create something new in us even if all we have left are dust and ashes. And Ephesians 2:10 tells us we are indeed usable: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God redeems us–not just our souls for eternity, but the time we have in this world too. And each of us is valuable and needed in His redemption story.
Nate Boyd, Executive Director