Working With Broken Tools

I was listening to this report from Ramez Atallah, an Egyptian Christian.

*Steps on Soap Box* You need to take an hour and listen to his report. It is crucial that you know what God is doing in His church around the world. It is an hour long. But if you can’t find an hour at some point in your day/week, there may be a problem. *Steps off soap box*

At the end of that hour, I was just sitting there thinking, “God, you do all of this and it is nothing for you. Just one word from you and everything this man said would be done. Why do you use broken people to accomplish your ends?”

Immediately, the Spirit delivered to my mind a memory from college. When I was studying in my jazz program, we would have guest clinicians come for a week in residency. One time, a man named Dave Holland came. He is a phenomenal jazz bassist. One of the best in the world without a doubt. Here is a simple taste of him and here is a more complex taste of his mastery.

In one of his master classes, Dave Holland was talking with a young student.

The student said, “I’ve been working on my technique. I can’t wait to get a new bass so that I can sound really good.”

Dave replied, “What’s wrong with your current bass?”

Student: “It’s just low quality. It doesn’t sound good.”

Dave Holland then grabbed the bass from the kid. He started to play the student’s bass. What was heard could only be described as… sonic heaven… bliss for the ears… musical brilliance…

He handed the bass back to the student and said, “It sounds good to me.”

Silence fell over the room in awe of the master bassist.

And that’s what God does. He takes bottom-of-the-line, broken tools and uses them to create the most beautiful and majestic works. All because it proves HIM to be the Master. It demands anyone who experiences HIS work using THOSE tools to stand in awe of HIM.

The funny thing is, we would have never experienced that moment of mastery with Dave Holland had that student thought that his own playing was sufficient, or that his bass was of acceptable quality. It was only when he admitted that he was mediocre, and using mediocre tools, that the master was able to show his quality.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:10

“…be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” 1 Peter 5:5-6

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

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