“I just want to be used by God.” How many times have you uttered that phrase or heard someone else say that very thing?
It is a holy desire. Not a thing wrong with it. And it is a desire that God makes reality. A prayer he answers. The thing is, we aren’t always aware of how God uses us. But he does use us. Our God is not a bad steward. He assigns us to wherever we are right now.*
As Acts 17:26-27 says:
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.
That thought is astounding and weighty. It shakes my mind. God marked out our appointed time in history and the boundary of our lands. Yes, Paul is speaking about nations but about us, too.
If we are open to God (and many times when we are not) he uses us in the very place we find ourselves. You have no idea what your kind smile, listening ear, monetary gift, discernment, gifts and talents, words, and presence mean to those around you. Sometimes they will tell you and that is a gift (we all need encouragement every now and then). And like my friend Natasha Robinson admonished, we should be careful to eulogize, or praise, people while they are alive. That’s when it means the most. We should be overflowing with thanksgiving, a thanksgiving made manifest through our words and actions like those of the leper who was on his way to a new life but first turned around to thank Jesus for the healing of his diseased body, soul, and mind. We can be sure that leprosy ate away at his soul and mind. And here comes Jesus so graciously restoring newness of soul and mind to him when Jesus healed his body.
God will not ignore your desire to be used. Trust that he is good, that he is using you and will use you even when you aren’t aware of it. He’s got this. He is faithful even when we are not. He sent you to this place. You may want to escape it just now. You might not want to be used here because you don’t like it here. But he may wish you to stay a little longer, like he did Joseph. That’s hard to swallow. I haven’t liked it when I’ve had to stay in a vise-grip-like place or circumstance. But, he is using you and me for his great purposes and he is doing things in you and me that cannot be done anywhere else. It’s about him and his kingdom purposes for the good of all–including you.
May you persevere in his embrace and in the embrace of the Christian community. And if you need help believing that God is using you or can use one such as you, ask honest and good people to speak encouragement into your life. They will reflect back the truth. They will mirror to you the face of God.
God is a good steward and good shepherd. May you experience that goodness. It is my prayer and desire for you.
*I am not saying that God assigns us to abusive situations. If you are in such a situation, please get help. Do whatever you can to escape and to find those who can help you.