Used?

This past Sunday I was sitting on my couch watching my Dolphins get beat for the 5th week in a row, and it got me thinking. What does a 0-5 record do to a teams psyche? Do they start to feel used? Just a sub-average team being used to enhance the other teams record. No purpose to play week to week, they have already been all but eliminated from the playoffs, so why go down the road to a possible 0-16 season? Why? Because it doesn’t end this year. This isn’t all of it. As those losing coaches like to say, “It’s a rebuilding year.” But for right now, it’s a lame feeling, and I don’t even play on the team, I’m just a fan.

My question is, have you ever been used by God. I’m not saying that God used you in a great way, I’m talking about being used in an 0-16 kind of way? I’ve been used at least once, and here’s my story:
I was at a church that I didn’t feel like I fit, but I kept plugging along. I somehow got introduced to a guy named Louie Giglio, who was speaking every week at 722 in Atlanta, GA. His stuff blew me away, it connected with me and resonated with my soul. I watched 722 every week for about 6 months. Things seemed to get tougher at the church I was working in, and I looked forward to listing to 722 to give me that little boost to get me through the week. So I finally mustered up the courage to drop Louie a note via e-mail. I encouraged him to keep doing what he was doing, because if he wasn’t making an impact anywhere else in the world, he was impacting my live every week though the messages I watched online. It wasn’t two weeks later I was watching his message, and he said that he was stepping down from teaching every week to focus more on the Passion movement that he was involved with. I was blown away, he was helping me get through my tough days by bringing the Word to life for me, in a way I hadn’t heard before. He then went on to say that it’s been a tough decision since he’s gotten “an email a day” encouraging him to continue at 722. But he felt God moving him in a different direction. WHAT?!?! Was I just used? I know that it wasn’t my single email that pushed him away from 722 but I felt used. God used my email along with hundreds of other circumstances, to engage Louie full time in the Passion Movement, away from what I wanted. I wanted for him to keep speaking every week to get ME though the week. But that wasn’t Gods plan. Used.

Now my story on the flip side:
A couple of months ago we moved into a new house. My good friend accepted a Youth Pastor position at another church, and we moved into his house. What a blessing. It’s a great house, and we love living there. It’s close and in a great neighborhood. Now my friend is having a tough time in his current situation. He’s facing challenges that he shouldn’t have to face at this time in his ministry. It’s tough for him. So my question is this, did God move my friend so that we could move into his house? To bless us? I don’t know. Used.

I do know this, God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28) I guess it keeps coming back to this theme that I see weaving in and out of every thread of my life: it’s not about me.

Just like I love my Dolphins when they are 0-16, God loves us, even more. Next year may be the year that my Dolphins are on the other side of the coin, probably not, but maybe. It all comes full circle. Sometimes you will be used, sometimes you will be the purpose of his use, but it is not about us, but about him.

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