Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Can God Use Me?

“In a large household there are vessels not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for lofty and others for humble use.” 2 Timothy 2: 20

I encounter many people, both teens and adults, who feel that God could not use them. They feel too sinful, or too weak, too insignificant or not talented enough. I think they often compare themselves to others, especially people they consider “holy” and decide that they are not in the same league and don’t even try.

But does God need us to be perfect, or holy, or really talented in order for Him to use us? I would argue that if we waited until we were holy enough to let God use us, that He would never be able to use us. None of us are perfect and all of us sin, and yet in His mercy and in His mysterious ways, God still wants to use us to complete His plans and to bring others to Him…despite our weakness and in some cases because of our weakness.

I think it is a lie to believe that God cannot use us. God can—and does—use anyone who is willing to offer themselves to Him. We don’t have to believe in ourselves, we have to believe in Him! Just look at the Bible to see that that God will use anyone. David was a little shepherd boy who slew a giant, then committed adultery and murder. He was still used by God. Rahab was a harlot, but she was still used by God. Moses had a speech impediment, but God still spoke through him. Jacob stole his brother’s birthright and was still used by God. In the Gospel accounts, St. Peter bragged about what he gave up for Jesus, he argued about who was the greatest, he cut-off a guy’s ear, he denied Jesus three times and he kept hiding in the upper room after the Jesus’ death and again after the Ascension—and yet he was the leader of the Apostles and the first Pope. St. Paul persecuted, arrested and killed Christians before his conversion and then became one of the most powerful evangelists of all time.

God is not limited by us, but often times we limit what God wants to do through us. The Truth is that God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our weaknesses. He knows our sins. He knows our fears and our doubts. And He knows what we are capable of—both for good and for evil. And He wants to use us. He wants to show His power and His love and His mercy through our words and our actions. He wants us to be His hands and feet in our world.

Such an ironic notion really, that the God of all power and majesty, desires to be shown through humility and imperfection, as the rest of the world seeks to gain power by trampling upon the weak. But our God is not like the gods of this world and our God seeks to identify with the weak, the poor, the forgotten. May we never doubt that God can use us. And by allowing Him to use us, He will make us holy.

Dear Jesus, I am weak and imperfect and not only do You still love me, You desire to use me for Your plans. Please give me the grace to be open to You and to allow You to use me for whatever purpose You design for Your glory. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for reminding me of this verse and directing me to Timothy.

    Just read a meditation by Father Bartunek,too, that speaks of what you're saying: "God has chosen to administer the salvation won by Christ through the action of the Church(us. In union with Christ’s vicar and Peter’s successor, the pope, every Catholic is called to carry out a particular, unrepeatable role in the plan of salvation. As St Augustine put it, “God created us without us, but he did not will to save us without us.”