A friend texted me and asked if I would help her with a project for the women’s retreat. Let’s call her Jan Carlson. I agreed, and Jan asked if we could meet so she could show me the project. That’s how she came to be standing in my hallway toting a bag full of craft supplies last Friday. We shared hugs and family updates. I offered her something to drink. Then we spent the next couple of hours painting and chatting as we sat across the craft table from one another.

I don’t think I helped much with the project. And Jan’s probably wondering why God nudged her to ask me for help. But what I know is that she was an answer to prayer. You see, these past few months have been challenging, and I haven’t been out of the house much. When Jan prayed over this craft, she made herself available. And when I prayed for fellowship, God chose Jan.

Rick Warren says, “God is looking for people to use, and if you can get useable, he will wear you out. The most dangerous prayer you can pray is this: “Use me.” Becoming a “useable” person sounds pretty easy. It is simply a matter of offering yourself up to be used by God.  So what stops us from doing that? Well, I can only speak for myself, but here are some of my excuses:

  1. I’m already overwhelmed by trying to live my own life. No time. No energy.
  2. I’m not “godly” enough to be used by God. Gotta get my own act together.
  3. God may ask me to do something I don’t want to do.

All of these reflect my desire to control my own life – a lack of surrender and trust in God.

Our Sunday messages have been reminding us that God does not want us to do things for him out of a sense of duty. The Lord wants us to reach out to others as a loving response of what he has done for us. If we truly believe his ways are better than ours, we will surrender our need to control our own lives and step into his plan. Jesus did not waiver through unbelief. He was strengthened in his faith because he was fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:20-21)

Prayerfully consider this, and if you agree, join me in delighting God by repenting of our unwillingness to surrender. Then let’s ask him to use us. I wonder what God would do if we began each day with: “Lord, please use me to answer someone’s prayer.” I’m sure glad Jan did.