Taking a Chance on Us, The Barren Rose

Today is my one year and five month anniversary of surrendering my life to Jesus Christ. Today I want to share with you all about how Jesus took a chance on me and you, when we had nothing to offer him.

It seems like a while ago but the summer of 2009 I went on a job hunt. I applied at several different places, 19 to be exact. I was frustrated and tired after two weeks went by with no call backs or job offers. It was towards the end of another fruitless day when I tried one last place.

I walked into this seafood restaurant called Gilligans. I was only thinking that I would fill out an application and then leave but much more than that happened. I handed my finished application to the manager. He looked it over for a few minutes and then asked me to follow him into the bar area. I did and we sat down at a table and began to do an interview. This was my first interview and I was nervous. The manager was intimidating and his raspy voice did not help the situation. I stumbled over my words as he asked me questions to why I wanted to be there, answering, “I thought it would be an easy job” quickly having to backtrack. Showing no confidence at all, no ambition, no anything. My manager though took a chance on me, a big chance.

So I started my first job ever a few days later. I went through training, learning how to use the computers and how to do sidework. Several times within my first week, my manager had to get in my face and tell me to work harder. I was not a good worker, I was super lazy.

For the first 6 months I was terrible. I messed up orders, I dropped plates, cups. I had no common sense and usually the sidework I finished had to be redone by other servers. I couldn’t multitask and had no confidence in my own ability. Everyone in the restaurant, workers, others managers, called for my firing but this manager stood by my side. He stood up for me, even when I was terrible and when I messed up orders and angered people and wasn’t doing anything good for the restaurant. He was criticized for keeping me there but he stood by my side.

After a year of being there I finally got my feet under me and excelled. I became one of the best waiters there, averaging close to 130 on summer nights. My managers chance had paid off. Looking back at that story, four years later, I realize how much Jesus took a chance on me too.

January 6th, 2012, I kneeled on my bed, asking the God of the Universe to save my life, redeem me. I was addicted, depressed, lonely, but I cried out from the bottom of my heart for salvation and His Lordship in my life. I had nothing to offer but Jesus Christ reached out and saved me. He knew it would be a long road ahead and that I would fall down so many times before I would stand again, but He reached out His hand and took hold of me.

God sees our potential even when we can’t. He knows that what we are now, that He can change us, completely from the inside out. I stayed away from God for so many years because I thought I had to have something to offer.

Last February my brother told me the sermon about this rose that was passed around a room. By the time it got back to the original person, the rose was bare. My brother said the guy said, “Who wants this rose?” In my heart I felt condemnation, worthlessness. “No one wants that rose,” I said to myself. My brother though then said that the guy said, “Jesus wants that rose.”

I don’t know about you but I wake up some days feeling worthless. I feel like sometime that all my worth has been stripped away by this world. The good thing is my worth is not in how many petals or even if I have petals. Jesus loved me when I was barren, beaten, broken down. He reached out to me continuosly even as I pushed Him away constantly.

Today I am reminded that I am loved, worthy, cared for, even when I had no petals.

Walk in God’s true, everlasting love today.
Blessings,
Joseph.

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