Oh, what a fun thing to experience!
Last year a couple in our church family had a baby. Oh, I was excited (as everyone was). We had shower for them. We counted down the days. We watched the progress of the mama's belly increase. It was thrilling!
Finally the baby arrived. Oh, what a great phone call to get. The baby has been born! Halleluia! If you've been the one to get the call you might start asking questions: boy or girl? how long? what is the weight? does the baby have hair? and on and on and on.
Now, don't be offended by this next statement. I share it because there is an incredible spiritual principle in it. Babies are absolutely adorable, but really, what good are they to their parents? I mean, yes, they are good to love; good to hold; good to entertain even, but if we are objective what can the baby do for his parents? I mean practically speaking?
And that is the way it is supposed to be. The first several years of child-rearing is a lot of work but it is as they call it a "labor of love."
What about us and God? Are we really any use to Him? Sure, He uses us. He loves us. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for us, but was it so He could get something from us?
We get into a kind of outlook on the Christian life that we need to be useful in our walk with the Lord. If we aren't doing a lot of stuff some of us think we are failing God. That thought isn't from God.
He saved us not for what we could do for Him but just because He loves us. Here's a great quote from Oswald Chambers. He writes, "We should quit asking ourselves, 'Am I of any use?' and accept the truth that we really are not of much use to Him (God). The issue is never of being of use, but of being of value to God Himself. Once we are totally surrendered to God, He will work through us all the time."
It is God's delight to let us take part in His beloved work. It is a privilege. It is an honor for us.
My life as a gardener began in 1998. Almost 20 years now. Wow. I should be incredible at it by now, but I'm not. I always plant with great hope and never know how much of what I planted will come up. Last year and one other time several years before, I had a beautiful garden -- not much produce but a lot of beauty. Other than that they've been pretty average. Yet, I love my garden. We try to keep our kids busy throughout the summer. One of my husband's ideas is for them to help weed the garden. But I love weeding and my garden is one of my sanctuaries. I don't really need the help. So when I allow one of my kids to help me in the garden it is a precious task I am giving him/her from my perspective. That's how God's work is -- all His work is precious to Him. It isn't drudgery. If we get to help, Great! If we don't, that's okay too. Our value isn't in what we do, but because God loves us.
That's it -- that's where all our value lies. And that's a whole lot of priceless value.