Now I know you have already got a picture in your mind if you have a pictorial mind like mine. It’s a bit like one of those ink blot things that Psychologist spot in front of you and say what do you see? You know the thing where there is just this blob of ink on the paper and you know whatever you see is going to be interpreted by the Psychologist. You stare into the picture and wonder what on earth is it? After a few awkward seconds you go for it, “it’s a Butterfly” the Psychologists repeats back to you “you see a butterfly do you?” Now you want to change your answer but it’s too late. What does it mean that you saw a butterfly? I’ll leave that one with you to ponder.
So “rubber nosed Christians” what do you see? People going round looking like clowns with different coloured noses? Or maybe some other picture!
This was a statement one of my pastors said to me when I was a young Christian “God loves rubber nosed Christians” I asked him to explain what is a rubber nosed Christian?
He began to explain that God loves someone who is willing to have a go, they may fail, they may mess up, they may feel like they have failed, but they did have a go. You can never win a race if you do not compete. So why “rubber nosed?” Because they get back up again and have another go. Failing does not make us a failure, it becomes our teacher!
Thomas Edison the inventor of the electric light bulb, year after year believed that he would find a solution to the problems he faced, eventually he succeeded and when questioned about his constant failures said this.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
– Thomas A. Edison
As they say the rest is history!
How many of us stop at the first hurdle, or the second or the third, how many people never achieve what life has in store for them because they never took the risk, stepped out in faith, took the bull by the horns or pushed through to what God had called them to do.
Another one of Edison’s quotes is this;
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
– Thomas A. Edison
We have only failed if we don’t get up and try again!
Statistics tell us that entrepreneurs fail at least 5 times before they find what works.
Think about the apostle Peter, I love Peter, he wasn’t any great theologian, he was just a simple fisherman, he knew his trade, he had his own boat and crew, he made a living from what he did and provided for his family. But there must have been something in him that wanted something else. Why do I say this because when Jesus arrived on the scene he immediately responded to the call.
18 Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
He took hold of the opportunity that was before him. “Carpe Diem” he seized the day. These words go a little further in their meaning.
“Carpe Diem” used to urge someone to make the most of the present time and give little thought to the future.
Think about Peter when Jesus called him do you think he thought about the future and all that was before him, no he just took hold of the moment an “eternal moment” a moment that changed his destiny! No longer a fisherman but “fisher of men”
He was to become the leader of the early church, he was to be given a unique responsibility, do you think he knew that at the moment Jesus called him? NO.
What I like about Peter is he was a “rubber nosed Christian” he messed up, he spoke out of turn, he acted rashly, he kept quiet when he should have spoken up. He was just like you and me. But God knew the potential in him. A simple fisherman, past over by the theological world of the day so went fishing, Fishing until the day that Jesus walked by. What would have happened if Peter had have said No! ever thought that?
Reinhard Bonnke tells a story of God asking him to do a national campaign to every house in the UK called “Minus to Plus” a very large undertaking, asking God “why me” he heard the Holy Spirit say “you’re the third person I have asked” He seized the day. We don’t know what happened with the other two people.
So here is the thought, if God asks us to do something it is because He believes in us, Jesus believed in Peter, he knew he would mess up, get things wrong. He was still getting things wrong throughout the book of Acts. God didn’t give up on him and Peter didn’t give up on God. How quick we are at times to give up on people. I think it is interesting that when Peter messed up God didn’t change His plan, Peter was a “Rubber nosed Christian” God works with rubber nosed Christians, they are people who are mouldable and able to learn from their mistakes. Anybody ever made any mistakes? I’ve made plenty.
Don’t stay down, let your rubber nose bounce you back up. God believes in you. He said that He is faithful to complete the work He began in you, until the day that Jesus returns. (1 Thes 5:24). The most wonderful thing is this that God is actively at work in helping you succeed. So carpe diem, seize the day and become a rubber nosed Christian!