by DanWolgemuth on October 20, 2017

On Saturday morning I will step onto the platform of Bethel Gospel Assembly Church in Harlem. I will be speaking along with several others to a group of roughly 1,000 Movement Day NYC participants. The topic for the morning, Mass Incarceration & the Plight of our Urban Youth.

Even as I type these words I’m struck by just how unlikely it is that I would be delivering thoughts and perspectives on this topic. I’m a sixty-two-year old white male, born in the suburbs of Chicago into a loving Christian home. My parents were present and engaged. I never doubted their love. I grew up with five great siblings, a Gospel-centered church and I never wondered about safety or security.

So, “unlikely” is the word that races across my mind, even as I prepare for the few precious moments I will have on stage to advocate for the tens of thousands of young people swept into the criminal justice system in Manhattan.


But then…

  • Moses, a murderer who was tending sheep for his father-in-law. The liberator of Israel? Unlikely.
  • Moses, the spokesman for God? “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Unlikely.
  • Abram, a 99-year-old man with a childless wife. Fruitful? Parents? Unlikely.
  • Esther, a beautiful young Jewish girl. The property of the King. The rescuer of the Jews. Unlikely.
  • Jeremiah, young and inarticulate, a prophet to the nations? “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” Unlikely.
  • John, born to skeptics, outlandish in style, the greatest prophet ever? Unlikely.
  • Peter, an outrageous fisherman. An evangelist? Unlikely.
  • A little lad, the owner of a couple small fish and barley loaves. Caterer for thousands. Unlikely.
  • Saul, the avenger, the persecutor, the zealot. The author of roughly 30% of the New Testament? Unlikely.

Unlikely becomes likely in the hands of God. Unlikely is the conduit through which the power of God courses. Unlikely is the perfect positioning for possible.

Unlikely is our resume for usefulness. It is the prerequisite for the unimaginable.

Our adequacy is not the platform on which we build our legacy. It is faithfulness while trusting the omnipotent strength of God. In our weakness unlikely becomes likely. That is our calling.

Dan Wolgemuth, at a microphone at Bethel Gospel Assembly speaking on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves… unlikely, and perfectly positioned.

Always and only by His power.


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