God Doesn’t Need Me – Abigayle English
Wanna hear one of the most prideful thoughts my mind comes up with some times? (I knew that would hook you). Well here it is, sometimes I truly believe that: God needs me to do xyz. I know what you’re thinking, why are you doing the fellowship, you should have a stand-up comedy show. I know, I know but this is a real thought I’ve had at times. And I’ve even made decisions based on this mindset. God needs me to work at camp to serve people and further the gospel. God needs me to meet with this girl so she can get her life in order. One of my favorites: God needs me to talk to so-and-so about this little habit she has because it is not Christ-like and very annoying.
It’s that latter one that really got me in trouble recently. My friend Rocky who did this group counseling, identity profiling thingy with us explained to me why I always feel like I need to fix the people around me. The explanation is sort of complicated and I just deleted that paragraph because boring! But just believe me when I say, for a long time I thought that the Lord needed me to speak in order to change people around me. I was trying to play the role of Holy Spirit for a lot of people in my life. And as you could probably imagine, this makes life super duper fun for all the people surrounding me (especially the ones stuck with me in this fellowship program).
A dear friend Pastor Dean (okay he was just from a Colorado church we visited before 52 but I wish we were friends) told me, “you can’t let God down…because you’re not holding Him up.” That’ll change your perspective right there. I had it all backwards. The Lord is not depending on me to do xyz. He could do xyz plus all the other letters of the alphabet with His eyes closed. But He uses us because He wants to. He could fix this whole world and all the people in it with the snap of His fingers. He wants to use us to give us purpose and opportunities to glorify Him. He lets us take part; but He doesn’t need us to. This change might seem slight to you but I think it’s imperative to our perspective of life here on Earth.
It reminds me of the way John the Baptist was described in John 1:6-9 “There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” John was not Christ, but he was preparing the way for Christ so that through him all men might believe. He was not imperative to God, God could have picked someone else, but God worked through him.
So the Lord doesn’t need us but instead works through us. And I even have proof of this from the first six months of the fellowship. I came into this program thinking the Lord needed me to serve the camp and to help refine these people (#pride, I know). Instead I have seen this camp serve me and the people refine me as well. So I was just mixed up a little bit in my purpose. But the Lord still let me come.
I believe the Lord has been working hard on my behalf as an answer to prayers about having a refining year. God has worked through multiple people to turn me into a person He could work through as well. Allow me to turn your attention to exhibit a:
- Through one of the strongest friends I have, I was shown that sometimes we need to be weak and dependent.
- Through a mentor sitting down to have lunch with me I realized that the Lord is my shepherd and I can hear His voice when I stop to listen.
- Through a family I saw how hard and rewarding it can be to say “we don’t know what You’re doing or why, but we trust you and will persevere.”
- Through a friend from the north I learned that if you only bought a couple of things at the store, you should just ask for no bag at the check out and then you just carry it out with your hands. People do that.
- Through an accountability partner I learned how to take my guilt and translate that into God’s grace.
- Through a patient friend I was taught how to build a lasting fire without just using a can of lighter fluid.
- Through a friend I learned to appreciate the word of God and to always have a hunger for learning more about it. And also all of Matt Chandler’s mannerisms.
- Through a close pal I saw what it looks like to do jobs even when you don’t want to, the only reason being the Lord and His conviction.
- Through my family I saw what it means to be unconditionally loved and forgiven when you forget to call or text back.
- Through friends who have given up coke or sweets for 21 days I have seen endurance. True endurance.
- Through older coworkers I saw how you can take otherwise quiet work time and turn into an intentional and uplifting conversation.
- Through a friend the Lord showed me an example of how Jesus must have served His friends, in a humble and unwavering way.
- Through a friend I learned what meekness means; to let other people back-in the trailer, even when you’re an engineer and could do it way better.
- Through my boss I saw what it means to lead people confidently and also with love. A blend of business and ministry, if you will.
- Through the workers in our cafeteria and housekeeping I saw what it looks like to do hard jobs and also smile at the same time because you are serving the Lord.
- Through the community I saw what I means to lean on others when you are weak and how stinking cool the Body of Christ can be.
- Through writing this blog I saw how incredibly hard it can be to describe what the Lord is doing in your life because the way He works is indescribable.
He uses us because He can, not because He has to. Like when a kid with our OE department asks if they can be our helper for something; I could do it a whole lot faster and quieter on my own, but what if they take away something from this experience? God is compassionate and kind and thoughtful. He’s also a lot more, but this is just a start. I’m only 22 years old after all.
“This third [the remnant] I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’” -Zechariah 13:9