God uses people in different ways. If I could draw an analogy, I would liken us all to tools. Some of us are hammers, some of us are rachets and wrenches. Some of us are pry bars and others are drills or screwdrivers. Some of us are kitchen implements like skillets and cups and knives. All these things are tools or implements to be useful in a particular situation.
I can’t and wouldn’t use a hammer to make a souffle, I would use a wire whisk and a bowl though. I would have no use for a spatula when my tire was flat and needed to be changed, but I could definitely use a tire iron that fits the lugs on my wheel so I could loosen and tighten lug nuts. Every tool has a place and a use.
I love television shows where they are renovating an old house or better yet, taking a car that has been in the woods for 20 years and restoring it back to use. It is such an appropriate analogy for God wanting to rehab lives that have been broken down and in need of repair to make them useful. I watch as the person restoring the car takes a tool called a “clutch puller” to pull the clutch out of a car. This is a specialized tool. You don’t need a clutch puller everyday…in fact, I’ve never needed one. But the fact remains that when you find a clutch that needs pulling, don’t look to a skillet to do the job…you need a clutch puller!
Okay, so…here it is. As tools in God’s tool belt, we will be called upon at times to do something that we have been particularly designed to do. None of us can do EVERY job that comes along. When the Lord needs a drill, to drill into someone’s life to get to some deep issues, he isn’t going to use a hair dryer. A hair dryer is useful but not to drill with! Yet, I think sometimes we feel a bit helpless and maybe even despise our own gift when we see people who need help and our particular gift doesn’t fit the need. This is why the church is important.
Each of us have gifts and abilities different from one another in a church. There are some people who have a gift of helps that they use to help other people with. I had a friend named Dwayne Isenberg who one time drove to Indianapolis when my little Honda Civic threw a piston rod. He hooked up my car, towed it to his house and by golly, he put a new engine in that thing! Not everyone would do that! But someone with a gift of helps would! I didn’t need a fiery preacher that day teaching on repentance…I needed someone who knew how to help fix my car. Thanks Dwayne…your act of kindness it permanently etched on my heart. It would have done me no good to have someone who is an evangelist standing there on the side of the road with me…evangelists are effective in winning souls to Jesus, but that evangelist would have done me no good at all at that moment.
There are some people who have very specialized gifts…like a clutch puller. These people have a gift of “giving”. They have been blessed with money and they give to people…they may finance a new car for someone or donate large sums to a missionary. That gift of giving comes most often with the blessing of anonymity. Other specialized gifts are intercession, mercy and prophecy. What is interesting about these gifts or “tools” to continue my analogy, is that they are useful more than most of us know, but they too are clothed; most of the time in anonymity. Everyone needs mercy, all have a need for intercession. It shouldn’t just be used in the church.
Here, finally is my point. Maybe you don’t feel you are very useful to the Lord. Maybe you don’t feel that you get used much at all! So; here’s a thought…instead of waiting for a clutch to be pulled, go to a transmission shop! If you are a wrench, go hang out in a car garage! If you are a hammer, go hang out on construction sites. I mean if you know that you have this precious gift of mercy, then it is quite honestly a very good thing to volunteer at the hospice down the street or counsel people who need a listening ear!
If you have a lot of discernment, which basically is the ability to judge well and see beyond the surface of things, you may want to become a judge or an attorney or again, a counselor! People with discernment are like hammers…they nail the key issue, or see the true problem and call it out for what it is.
My wife tells me a humorous story of how one of her relatives used a hammer to try and fix everything! I laugh about this because of the old saying, “to a hammer, everything looks like a nail!” Swiss watches don’t respond well to hammers, meaning, don’t try to use your gifting in places where it is not needed or where delicate care is the order of the day.
The one thing you shouldn’t do when you don’t feel your gift is being used to it’s fullest is to jump out of the tool box! “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Eccl 3:1-8. God will use you as you make yourself available to him…and let’s face it, if you are only available for one hour on Sunday morning, then chances are you won’t be used very much!
God has designed you with purpose and gifts in your life to be useful not just to the church…but to the society! And the great thing about it is, that if you have been slow to use your gifting it isn’t too late! “The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable!” Romans 11:29. Another version says, “the gifts and calling of God can never be withdrawn!” Start now and make a difference.
Today, don’t run away like Jonah did when God called him to go to Ninevah. God needs you to function the way that only YOU can function. He needs his hammers and drills; he needs his clutch pullers and His diamond cutters too. The church is in the earth to show the glory of God to the nations.