Privilege of Partnership, by Phil Tiews


When I was an undergraduate I had a job in a thoroughbred frog farm at the University of Michigan. You laugh, but we had frogs whose ancestors could be traced back through dozens of generations! They might have looked like ordinary Rana Pipiens but these were strictly blue-blood, or maybe green-blood, amphibians. My role was very small, only a few hours per week, but I had been invited to be part of the team by the foremost ‘frog man’ in the world, the professor directing the lab. You might wonder why bother selectively breeding frogs. It turns out that it is very important for some forms of research, including vital medical and genetic research, to be able to trace the genealogy of test subjects, including frogs. We were not really in the business of making pedigree frogs, but of curing illnesses and advancing the scientific frontier, and I got a chance to be part of it all. Seen in that light, my small and lowly contribution takes on more significance and dignity.

I must confess that there are times when the Christian life feels more like a duty and Christian service a burden. (I realize I may be unique in this, but bear with me!) However, recently I was struck in a fresh way with what a privilege it is to be invited into the Lord’s life and to join him in his life mission—to seek and to save.

He could have just rescued us and put us in a protected place for safekeeping. Instead he says to us, ‘I have need of you. I can use you as my partners in this work I am doing. You bring special qualities to the job, which I have given you for just such an hour and call as this. Come on, let’s go together.’

If there is significance and dignity in helping to breed frogs in order to push forward the boundaries of scientific discovery, how much more in helping to rescue men and women and push forward the boundaries of Kingdom recovery!

This opportunity is for a brief time only. One day soon, one way or another, we will be with the Lord in glory and the time of participation in Jesus’ mission will be over. Let’s recognize our opportunity for partnership now and join with Jesus full heartedly.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor's song. To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be; they with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.