Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Called, Directed, Useful

Imagine if you will:

A church full of people. The pastor is up at the pulpit preaching and teaching to a room full of listening ears. Off to the side there is a section of the church filled with people not watching the preacher. Their eyes are focused on a woman in front of them. 

Her hands are moving gracefully as she interprets the words of the preacher. Countless sets of eyes are watching her so that they too can hear from God. She is being the hands of the Father as He speaks to His bride.

This woman is a teacher, she has brought with her a group of students that are learning to sign, to communicate with their hands. She calls one of them up to the front to take over for her. He hesitates but goes up anyway, likely assuming that she will feed him the signs that he does not know. She cannot expect him to do what she has done, he barely knows half the words being spoken by the pastor. 

The young student attempts to interpret the words of the pastor but is failing. He feels the pressure of being the person in charge of getting Gods message across to those who cannot hear it with their ears. 

He tries to get his teacher to come back up and take over. She refuses. He pleads. And again she refuses. A third time he begs, and she still refuses. Can she not see that all of the Deaf with miss out if she does not take over. 

Desperate and failing, he drops his hands to his sides, and tries to utter a prayer. All he manages to get out is "God help me." 

Immediately he feels the feeling of hot oil being poured over his body, starting from his head and spreading over him. His hands come up and signs start to flow. Signs he has never seen before. Signs he doesn't know himself. 

The Deaf congregation sit watching as this young student goes from complete and utter failure and discouragement, to dropping his head in failure. Then they watch in astonishment as they see a transformed man, as he signs fluently and finishes out the service interpreting for his teacher. 

The followers of Jesus were all together in one place fifty days after the special religious gathering to remember how the Jews left Egypt.  All at once there was a sound from heaven like a powerful wind. It filled the house where they were sitting. Then they saw tongues which were divided that looked like fire. These came down on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they began to speak in other languages which the Holy Spirit made them able to speak.
Acts 2:1-4

The student in the story was my father. He has spent his life interpreting for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He signs like he himself cannot hear. But mostly, he signs like it is a gift. 

Watching my dad interpret has always been something I have enjoyed. His hands flow, it is like watching poetry. I have seen many interpreters in my life but when dad signs it is a completely different thing. It is his tongues, God blessed him with this language so that he can use his gift for the glory of God. 

Wouldn't it be nice to have a gifting like that. Something that is so obvious to you and to those around you that you are constantly reminded that it is a gift and meant for Gods glory. 

Hubby and I were talking last night about his career and what he wants to do with his life. He talked about my dad and how easy it must have been for him because he knew what he was called to. But I am sure that it wasn't that simple, there was probably lots of doubt and questioning at times and it wasn't always easy to stick with it when coworkers were frustrating. 

Hubby grew up on a farm and ever since he can remember he has wanted to be a farmer. A few years back his parents sold the farm and moved to a big city. It was totally unexpected and threw him through a loop. Since then he has struggled with the jobs that he has had because he always thinks about what it could have been if he could have farmed.  Given the choice, and enough money to get started, he would still farm. Hubby still looks at his jobs as a means to an end, with his end goal being us on a farm. 

It is hard to be happy with where you are when you are looking for something else. It is also hard to live and give everyday over to God if you aren't happy with where you are. We need to make the conscious effort to be useful for Gods purpose. We need to give ourselves over to His plan and purpose and not let ourselves get in the way.  

Yes, I do know that God gives us the desires of our hearts, but I also believe that there is a time and a season for everything. God's timing is perfect, we are where He put us, for a reason. If we are always looking to the past or the future we cannot have our eyes open for the present to see what it is that He has meant us for. 

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your strength. 
Ecclesiastes 9:10

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us. And make the work of our hands stand strong. Yes, make the work of our hands stand strong.
Psalm 90:17

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.
Exodus 9:16

Do not be ashamed to tell others about what our Lord said, or of me here in prison. I am here because of Jesus Christ. Be ready to suffer for preaching the Good News and God will give you the strength you need. He is the One Who saved us from the punishment of sin. He is the One Who chose us to do His work. It is not because of anything we have done. But it was His plan from the beginning that He would give us His loving-favor through Christ Jesus. We know about it now because of the coming of Jesus Christ, the One Who saves. He put a stop to the power of death and brought life that never dies which is seen through the Good News.

2 Timothy 1:8-10 (NLV)

Happy is the man who does not walk in the way sinful men tell him to, or stand in the path of sinners, or sit with those who laugh at the truth. But he finds joy in the Law of the Lord and thinks about His Law day and night. This man is like a tree planted by rivers of water, which gives its fruit at the right time and its leaf never dries up. Whatever he does will work out well for him.

Psalm 1:1-3

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