Sometimes I wonder how God uses us to reach people. Most of the time I wonder if I should be doing more. Should I say something? Should I actively bring up God on purpose, or should I let God open up that opportunity?
Most of the time, I think I remain idle. Content to let days, weeks, and months slip by, easily forgetting the value of my salvation and not worried about sharing that complex mystery with others.
I get annoyed with somebody and behave badly. In traffic, at the hair salon, in the grocery store. And it isn’t until I respond curtly or rudely – it isn’t until after it’s said and done that I feel like a jerk. That I realize that I missed an opportunity to love somebody with God’s goodness.
And I feel like an idiot.
As my grandmother says, “We never know who we might effect with even a smile.”
We don’t know how God uses that to change someone’s heart. We’ll never know how many people we’ve reached just by looking at them. Because God is always at work through us.
That’s really powerful to think about. Which is why I feel like such a dweeb when I forget about it and watch The Newsroom instead.
I’m reminded of the story of Kerry, whose mom pushed her relentlessly to go back to church. Go back to God. Go back! Go back!! But Kerry wouldn’t go. My mom took a different approach. She just hung out with Kerry. When she finally did return to church, her mom asked what changed her mind? It was her relationship with my mom. Mom didn’t try to change her. She didn’t push her or try to persuade her to go to church. Rather, God changed Kerry through my mom, without either one realizing it until it was done.
Sometimes, we just don’t know what God is doing or how He is using us to do it.
But we can always ask.
We can ask to be used.
God can use something as simple as a nametag to develop a 20-minute conversation about His love towards gays and the Bible’s stance on sex at a Trader Joe’s checkout stand.
You see prayer can open up lots of opportunities. It can open our eyes to God’s goodness, His answers and His tools. Including some of His greatest tools: you and me.
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