My son handed me the form his teacher filled out on his first oral report about Henry Ford; 120 points out of 100 (which included extra credit). I looked at it and scanned down through how he earned his points, such as speaking clearly, looking at his audience, etc. As a kid who struggles in reading, writing, and math, and who brings home less than wonderful grades despite his effort, this was astronomical for his self-esteem.
I hugged him close, and said. “Honey, I knew you were a good speaker and leader, but this really is your gift.”
“My gift?” he asked. “Why?”
“Because even when you had to stand up in front of people you knew and do a report on a topic you didn’t choose you did fabulous. You are an amazing speaker. Did you know some adults are scared to speak in front of people?”
Each day we struggle trying to figure out how God can possibly use us in our current state. Like my son, there in no shortage of resources in our world that will confirm your feelings of failure. (Remember those thick red markers they corrected your papers with in school?) But God made each of us perfectly; we are designed exactly how He intended, with our strengths, weaknesses, and our experiences.
My son and I have talked about Joshua in the Bible and how, as a soldier, he was likely a good leader and speaker. He encouraged his troops, but also made sure they knew God was his commander. What is most vital is that we are spiritually seeking God at all times; our motives and thoughts are Christ-like and that we search Him whole-heartedly and with a willing mind.
Does our mind always need to be focused? Does our devotion need to be on a particular do-gooder topic? No. God already knows our hearts and motives. We just need to work on our character and following Him and His gifts and plans for our life will be revealed. Even from our bed, with the help of some technology, we can reach the world with the news of our Lord.
Prayer: Lord, when I begin to doubt that you still have plans for my life, remind me that you are concerned with my heart and mind and how I use it for Your glory. My body, and its physical strengths are not necessary to do the works you have set before me.
About the Author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries which she began a few years after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1993. She is the author of “Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend,” available at http://beyondcasseroles.com and 100% of the proceeds support Rest Ministries.