In Purpose

Being useful and needed

It was one of those days that started fast and just kept on speeding up as the day wore on.  I had not eaten all day.  I usually don’t eat breakfast and I meant to make time for lunch but it simply didn’t happen.  Later that night I found myself facing a tray of airline food as I flew 10,000 meters above sea level.  I opened the container of salad in front of me, picked up the little packet of salad dressing and searched the corner for the perforated spot to tear open the packet.  I pulled, pushed, poked and even tried popping it open.  Nothing.  The plastic packet stayed intact and the dressing inside remained inside.   I then surveyed the tray in front of me to see what tool I could use.  A plastic knife – I sawed away to no avail.  The plastic fork – one of the prongs broke in the attempt.  I tried my teeth but I had a long flight ahead and did not want to make the journey with a toothache so I gave up.  I ended up eating my salad without dressing.  What I wouldn’t have done for a pair of scissors aboard that plane!  This silly little incident got me thinking about how we are all gifted by God for a particular purpose.

When God has a job to be done, He has someone in mind that fits the bill perfectly.  Just like a pair of scissors is exactly what I needed for that stubborn packet of salad dressing, so God has a perfect instrument that will get each job done.

If this is true, how do we recognize those moments when we can become useful instruments in God’s service?

  • There are times in our lives when we are uniquely placed to respond.  We are there, the need is there and it is as plain as day that we should do something.
  • Sometimes we are uniquely gifted to respond.  There may be many people around but we have the skill set, the knowledge, the correct insight, the compassion, the patience or the leadership ability to make a difference.  When this happens we should step up to the plate.
  • Perhaps we are uniquely blessed to make a significant contribution.  Maybe we have something that somebody else desperately needs.   We are in a perfect position to give and serve and be used by God.
  • I know we are all uniquely called.  Each one of us is called by God and each one’s calling will cause us to live differently.  Some are called to give up their possessions and to work in hard places.  Others are called to be financially blessed in order to give to those working in hard places.
  • There are also unique seasons in our life when God places us in a position to serve for a time, and then He moves us on.  We should be open to recognizing the times and the places of our life.

The beautiful part of all this is that God uses each one of us uniquely.  We don’t have to be a blunt knife or a broken fork doing a job we were not intended to do.  We also don’t have to copy what others are doing.  We can with diligence and intentionality allow the Holy Spirit to show us when and how to become useful and needed instruments in His service, uniquely doing exactly what He has crafted us to do.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

Question: In what way has God uniquely used you? Your contribution to the conversation is encouraged.  Click here to leave a comment.


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