You Can’t Use Me

“You can’t use me”.

These jarring words pounded into my head…and pierced my heart…as I folded laundry one night last week. I knew God was speaking to me. I have been struggling in my journey of faith, and I found myself – once again – doubting, complaining, and worrying. Was God accusing me of trying to “use Him”; to simply get Him to do what I wanted?

Having known the Lord a long time, having encouraged so many others when their circumstances were difficult, I hate admitting that I sometimes lack trust in His provision.

How can this be? Am I carrying bitterness because we had to wait over a year for Bruce to be called to a new ministry? Am I angry with God because even though He has called me to the vocation of ministry, my occupation now will not be in a church (which I knew before we moved)? Or am I just complaining because I feel my marketplace abilities are inadequate to find a position in this difficult economy?

Did I think my obedience in coming here would make the road smooth and easy?

I think my struggles are fueled by all of these questions, and probably a few more. The point is: I find it too easy to be anxious about, and at times critical of, God’s choice in moving us. I have struggled with my own sense of worth and understanding; wondering why He sometimes waits so long to take action.

Feeling anxious makes me pull away from others, while listening to negative thoughts makes me believe I cannot adapt to change; that things won’t work out. And then I feel bad because I should be buoyant in this new situation. After all, I love new adventures and new places and new people.

I realized that I was allowing my anxiety to rob me of God’s peace, to make me silent and critical, and to cause me to act and react in ways that really are not like me.

God rebuked me because I was trying to fight Him and somehow make Him do what I wanted. I was pierced to the heart as I realized I was “guilty as charged”; that I wanted to use God for my purposes so that my life would look like what I wanted.

But I sense that God is digging ever deeper within me, as He continues to pull out the securities (and insecurities) that so often rule my life. How strong these roots are within in me! He wants me to surrender, and He asks me to be willing to be used by Him in whatever way He chooses.

He’s asking that question we’ve all heard: will you trust Me and Me alone, even when it does not seem to make sense?

Hearing His gentle rebuke made me cry. How could I continue to worry and be anxious when He so clearly tells me to lean on Him, to depend on Him, and to trust Him? How could I demand that He fulfill my purposes, when as His disciple I vowed to follow Him, to love Him, and to trust His guidance in my life?

I asked forgiveness for my complaining attitude and my anxious spirit. I asked that He create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Instead of trying to “use Him” for my purposes, I desire to allow Him to use me for His purposes. For I want to be able to answer “yes” unequivocally to the question “Do I trust my God”? Yes, I will trust Him with my circumstances. Yes, I will trust Him with my life.

- Julie