It’s me, Steve Kemp, bringing you this week’s Midweek Message! With Spring edging ever closer, we have enjoyed some respite from the wild weather that has regaled us in recent times. The church activities continue to gain momentum with a visit from Yan Hadley at last Thursday evening’s Church Night and Friday evening’s “visit” to Mozambique during the “Ignite” meeting for children; Saturday morning offered opportunity for the monthly church “work day” where a great deal was accomplished and, on Sunday morning it was my joy to introduce the congregation to “Our immeasurable God”.
As most of you will be aware, I am not a giant! My diminutive size has meant that I have spent all of my life “looking up” to people! At school, I was always the smallest in my year and, with the Grammar School I attended majoring in Rugby Union as their key sport, it will come as no surprise that I nestled into the customary “Scrum Half” position that has traditionally embraced smaller and nimbler players!
Being small never came as a cause of great concern to me – I regularly seemed to get involved in playground fights with much bigger boys and sometimes even won! After suffering a bruised face one playtime after a fisticuffs encounter with a lad of much greater age and size, the teacher promptly remarked that it was “high time I picked on someone my own size!”
So, I guess that it comes as no surprise either that when I decided to remarry almost 11 years ago, Mandy ended up as my choice of bride as she is considerably shorter even than I! She remarked to me only this last week how she had to call upon the services of a shop assistant to aid her to retrieve items she desired from the supermarket’s top shelf as they were positioned agonisingly beyond the reach of her stretching fingers.
It reminded me of a colleague Pentecostal pastor in Sandbach, Cheshire who stood on a strong box behind the pulpit so that he could be seen above the lectern! Some of my favourite sportsmen have been remarkably small men. These include Scrum Half Rob Burrow who played in one of the Greatest Leeds Rhinos rugby league teams ever and short men like Johnny Giles and Billy Bremner who played in the great Leeds United football team of the 70s and later there came wee Gordon Strachan, who went on to become manager of the Scotland national side.
Size (or lack of it) need never place a restriction upon our usefulness or ambitions – I was able to represent my schools over a number of years at football, cricket, rugby and hockey (captaining two of those teams). Let us never imagine that our usefulness in God’s Kingdom might be dependent upon the size of our physical frame, or of the brain that is encased in our cranium, or of the magnitude of the knowledge we have acquired, or the number of educational qualifications that we might have achieved over the years.
No… size has nothing to do with spiritual accomplishment. Zechariah 4 v 6 reminds us, ““Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit”, says the Lord Almighty.” It is my experience that God often uses the most unlikely candidates to become most successful in Kingdom Service. We have no right to rule ourselves out of ministry simply because of our lack of size, or education, nor because of our imperfect health or family difficulties. At the end of the day, what is important is God’s Holy Spirit working in and through us and (as children of God) he indwells us. Size, shape, brain power, experience, education, physical fitness – none of these are of any relevance if God’s Spirit resides within us. Never let that dream die because of any lack of physical or mental attributes – God has no such lack and he lives within you! He knows no limits so why should you set any restrictions upon what you might be able to do or achieve? To him, size is no object!