We’ve all heard a sermon or two about God using our availability more than our abilities. It’s not really a case of either/or. God uses both! That was true with the mission volunteer featured in this post. And what was true for her and the rest of the team can be true for you, too!
There is a priority in this ability/availability discussion. We must make ourselves available for God’s use. That happens in surrending our agenda to His. With Isaiah, we must be willing to say:
Here am I, send me.
I have said before we have too many people in the Church today who are quick to say:
There he is, God, send him!
That brings a smile because all good humor is rooted in reality. But when we make ourselves available, what will happen?
It is my job to put mission volunteers in situations that will most likely make good use of their abilities. It’s not too different from being a coach (which I have done). I often hear people say things like:
I wouldn’t be good on a mission team because I can’t do anything that’s helpful.
There is not enough space to unpack all that’s wrong with a statement like that. I’ll just say our focus should be on people, not tasks. God uses one Christian to build another Christian. It’s called iron-sharpening-iron. There are no construction skills, medical or electrical licenses, or engineering degrees required.
The pictures in this post are all about a friend who understands all that. She was part of last week’s mission. We had a plan for her time. It was well within her skill sets and personality. Did it all go as we planned. No. Was that a problem? No. Why? Because mission is about the people.
As I looked at these pictures I thought about a few days from my own childhood. There are people and events I remember vividly. I remember people who demonstrated kindness and encouragement to me. They made a positive impact on my life.
People like that are in my memory as an adult. Some of them were pastors and some were our own church members. The point is, we are never too old for things like kindness and encouragement.
These pictures were taken while the Gospel was being shared. Just as important, the love of the Gospel was being demonstrated. And as I see these children, I can’t help but wonder how long they will remember the kind American lady who came to their village and to their school. Like my own memories, our mission visit will probably be recalled by some of them as much as 50 years from now.
What makes memories like that possible? Someone making themselves available to God. They took the opportunities at hand to demonstrate the love of Christ. We may never know how He uses our availability or our abilities. It’s a blessing when we get to see it, but it isn’t necessary. God uses anything and everything we give to Him. Now, who can’t be a mission volunteer?
Soli Deo Gloria!