On Being Used

I was a little discouraged this past Sunday.

It sounds silly to write it down now, but the external cause of my discouragement, (do you like that, the external cause, I know, it doesn’t really flow when I write it like that, but I think it is more true than if I say the reason, because I doubt that it was really the reason, I am sure the reason had more to do with what was going on in my heart, but I am talking instead about the circumstances in which what was going on in my heart was revealed) the external cause was the fact that we really had a low turn out at church on Sunday.

The week before had been so full, I thought this is really taking off and then this Sunday, wham, it felt like hardly anyone was there.

And the thing was, I had prepared all week, and I had been thinking about the message, and praying, and I really was excited about being able to share it, and then, you know, you look out there and you are like, wait a second, there should be more people here to hear this, and so I went home a bit discouraged. That’s the truth. I was more encouraged in the evening as one of the members of our church asked me to come to a memorial and share the gospel with some of his friends and family, and that was wonderful, but still on Monday I woke up in a bit of a funk.

Now there may be some good in this, at least, there may be some zeal, some desire to be used, I would think that’s not such a problem, but that’s not really my concern right now, my concern more has to do with the fact, that we probably all have times in our lives, where we look at what’s happening, and we look to God, and we think it might make more sense if it goes a little bit differently.

And, it’s not so godly at that moment, because the real problem we are struggling with is the fact that God is sovereign and we are not. Because the fact is, God’s sovereignty means that He has the complete and absolute right to do whatever He wants with whatever He has made.

And that’s me.

I am a tool in God’s hand. That’s it. And if God wants to pick up the tool and use it, awesome; but if God chooses to use this tool a little differently than I might want, then what an idiot if I as the tool, argue back with Him.

Can you imagine a depressed shovel? Maybe, as it sits there in the shed?

The thing is, God’s sovereignty not only causes me to relax, knowing that He is the one who is in charge, it also honestly gives me hope, because He is the one in charge.

Because sometimes when you are in situations where not everything is going as quickly as you might like, you look at yourself and you look at the situation and you think, oh my goodness, this is too hard for someone like me and that’s fine to think to a certain extent, because it is true, but still, if that’s all you look at, you can grow discouraged and want to give up.

God needs someone better, someone more significant for this job.

Oh really?

God has needs?

I don’t think so. While certainly the task may be too hard for someone like you, it’s definitely not even close to being a challenge to the One who created the Universe. There’s absolutely nothing about my situation or yours that causes God to scratch His head.

And because He is powerful and sovereign like that, I need to be careful to avoid presumption, where I argue back with Him about how He should be doing things, and because He is sovereign and gracious as well, I should be careful to avoid too much discouragement, because He has stooped down, even though He doesn’t have to, but because He wants to use His sovereign power for my good and His glory.

Even when! not as many people show up at church as I might like.

One thought on “On Being Used

  1. For someone like me who knows you and has heard you speak and teach, I could hear you saying these words. What truth in this blog. I was just talking with another friend about a situation in his extended family and he was asking me for some Scripture on God’s sovereignty. This article was a great insight into how often we buck God’s plans in even the slightest thoughts or attitudes concerning how we think or wish things would go. Thanks for being transparent. Pastors are human too and like Job need reminders of our finiteness and God’s infinite power and authority over His creation.

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