What do you do when God pins you to the wall with His holy conviction? Submit and obey? Argue and justify? Repent and humble yourself?
What do you do when you pray for God to use you but that service looks nothing like you thought it would? Do you thank Him for answering your prayer or argue that His assignment wasn’t what you signed up for?
Often times we want to be used in great and wondrous ways for God. We want Him to use our lives to inspire and influence others. We want His love and mercy and grace to gush from us. We want people to see Jesus when they see us. We want them to taste the grace of God when they spend time with us.
Sounds good, right? Sounds like a submitted, Spirit-filled life?
Then why do we walk away from the opportunities God places right in front of us? In our homes, schools, offices, communities, and churches, we find opportunity after opportunity to be a tangible vessel of Jesus Christ.
Too often we want the big displays. The miracle works. The amazing and astounding assignments.
Is that for God’s glory or our own? If we are truly serving God as He sees fit, every assignment from God is big, miraculous, amazing and astounding.
I find myself in a new season of life. One I knew would come someday. I thought I mentally prepared myself for this season, but I had not taken into account other possible factors, and I had not spiritually prepared myself. That is where I should have started.
My in-laws have moved to town to be closer to us. God worked in ways I had not prepared for. You see, I thought I knew how this would go. I had the best laid out plan for their move. But God had other plans, for them and for me.
This shout out may seem very random and out of place but it’s not. For all the nurses and caretakers out there, I commend you. I know it takes great passion and patience to do what you do. I also know it is not a job I would sign up for. (insert laughter under my breath here…)
Before my in-laws moved, my mother-in-law fell and fractured her leg leaving her less than fully mobile. She needed some assistance. She is my father-in-law’s full-time caregiver since he is in a wheelchair. Her fracture left her unable to care for him as she usually does. God provided through friends, my husband, and home health care to assist her in her role as caretaker. But she too needed some help. Needless to say, the role of a caretaker was the opportunity that God presented to me. I have been presented with the opportunity to step into an assignment as a helper in her time of need.
So here is where His Holy conviction comes in. Yesterday in my quiet time with God I prayed to be used by Him. In my devotional study, I journaled “Lord, use me as You see fit. Prepare me for Your purposes.”
Just a few hours after that prayer I sent a message to my sister who finds herself in a similar season of life that read “yeah, not the job I signed up for.” With the touch of the send button, I heard God whisper to my heart, “You asked to be used as I see fit, not as you see fit. This is how I see fit for you right now.” Oh, the conviction of my selfishness and pride.
I do want to be used by God, but I want to be used how I think I should be used and how I think He created me.
At that moment His conviction brought me to a place of humility and repentance. Lord, if this is how You see fit to use me in this season of my life may I be Your humble servant and obey with grace and compassion.
I confessed God’s conviction to my mother-in-law and asked for forgiveness for any unkindness or less than compassionate ways from me.
Maybe caretaker in the physical sense is not the job I would willingly sign up for, but God calls each of us to be spiritual caretakers and I do have a God-given passion just for that. He calls each of us to be inspirations and influencers in the lives of others. Sometimes those assignments won’t look like we what we want or even desire. But, every assignment from God is good and worthy and valuable.
The next time you ask God to use you, thank Him for answering your prayer as He sees fit, even if it doesn't quite fit into your vision of servanthood.