March 12, 2009


Philippians 3:12-16

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me …
Philippians 3:14


A rubber band isn’t much use unless it is stretched. Similarly, we will not achieve the peak of our potential unless we are stretched by God.

Christian psychiatrist Paul Tournier explains that a pilgrimage of faith means having the courage to step out from a secure place into an insecure place. It’s like a trapeze artist who swings from one trapeze to another. There is that breathless moment when the artist is in midair between the two trapezes. The performer has to leap, trusting that he or she will be able to grab the other trapeze. Likewise, we have to stretch to catch the next opportunity God sends our way.

Paul sees himself stretched by God so that he can achieve his full potential. It’s the same with us. We have to be willing to go beyond our comfort zones. We must forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead. We must relinquish our fears and focus on what we can be if we allow God to stretch us.

Stretching means trusting God in moments of surrender. Stretching means walking into our fears and coming out as people of faith. Stretching means believing in God when we don’t see him working. Stretching means trusting God in all circumstances.

Then we will be more like “rubber bands” God can use to do his work in this world.

Lord Jesus, help us to forget our past failures and lack of faithfulness in order to press on toward our heavenly prize. Stretch us toward your goals and your glory. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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