God’s not finished with you yet

Sunday evening was the start of a ten-week small group study for our church.  That night I found myself particularly joyful.  I love to study the Bible but that wasn’t the primary reason for my joy.  My joy came from seeing how God uses people to glorify His great name.

Two and a half years ago, Dick Sherman, a member of our church, fell ill with a very serious heart condition.  Dick was near death, but God spared his life.  I remember taking four trips to the Cleveland Clinic to visit Dick and his wife Gerry, but one experience stands out to me.  Shortly after having major surgery where Dick was given a mechanical heart, I was allowed to enter the ICU where Dick was recovering.  After talking with Dick and Gerry for a few minutes, I decided to read Psalm 23 to Dick.  As I started reading the Psalm, I could tell something was wrong because it became hard for me to read the words.  After failing to complete the reading of the Psalm, I excused myself as I started to black out.  I only made it a few feet beyond Dick’s bed when I completely passed out.  When I woke up, I realized I was surrounded by several nurses and doctors all wondering if I was ok.  Turns out I was, but I sure caused a commotion in the ICU.

I remember Dick saying not too long after that, “I guess God’s not finished with me yet.”  Dick is a retired schoolteacher who has walked with the Lord for decades.  Now in his early 70’s, there is no question that God used him before this near-death experience, but Dick’s brush with death seems to have been a catalyst in his life.  As our small group gathered on Sunday night, it was clear to me that this man is hungry for God.  He has a desire to please God and know God through His Word.  He also has a desire for other people to experience the joy of knowing God in Christ too.  What a delight it was for me to see Dick using his gift of teaching for the equipping of the saints, while at the same time reflecting on his journey over the past few years.

I often hear people say – I’m too old for God to use me.  Maybe not as often, but I also hear – I’m too young.  Whatever the case, it is common for people to feel inadequate.  This brings to mind the story of the prophet Jeremiah:

[4] Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

[5] “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born I consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

[6] Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” [7] But the LORD said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;

for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,

and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

[8] Do not be afraid of them,

for I am with you to deliver you,

declares the LORD.”

[9] Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me,

“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.

[10] See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,

to pluck up and to break down,

to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.”

(Jeremiah 1:4-10 ESV)

 

Christian, please understand that God’s call is upon your life.  God wants to use you for the glory of His name.  Every Christian is called to walk in humility and obedience before God.  We are all called to live Spirit-filled lives in service to King Jesus.  But within the Body of Christ, you have a unique calling.  God is using Dick Sherman to teach the Word of God to the people of God.  I praise God for that, but maybe God has called you to serve in a different capacity.  The Body of Christ is incredibly diverse and multi-gifted and that’s a good thing.  All it takes is a willing heart and God will put you to work.  It doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 85, God will use you.  The neat thing is that as you use your gifts and abilities, you will soon discover that it is not a chore to serve, but a delight.

Just like Dick said, God is not finished with you yet.  Do you have a willing heart?  Are you ready to step outside your comfort zone?  I can say from experience that if you step out in faith, you’ll never regret it and God will use you for the glory of His name.

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