Average Can Be Useful

I knew a girl once, who had freckles on her nose. Her eyes were green and they sparkled when she laughed. I knew a girl who couldn’t see these things, but only knew that she was quite average, quite plain, quite ordinary. And the devil told her that God couldn’t use someone like her – so average, so plain, so ordinary. And for a time, she believed him.

Average Can Be Useful

The devil specializes in paralysis. This deceiver casts doubt, telling us that what could be yielded and used is too inadequate to hand over to God. He tells us that God is looking for the sheen of a glossy faith hero, not a shepherd composing music in the field with ‘those few sheep’ (see 1 Samuel 17:28). But each of us, however ordinary, are told in Romans 6 to yield to God. There is no minimum requirement of stardom. God is looking for anyone who is willing. God is looking for you and that freckle-faced girl.

So she posted it on the windowsill in the kitchen, just behind the sink where she stood and did dishes three times a day: “Yield to God.” And what convicting power those three little words had. 

Yielding is an interesting action. It is an act of our will that renders us soft and pliable. It is an active choice to be passive. It is letting go to accept God’s design. I embrace His thoughts and plans, knowing that since He is good, and He is my Father, I can trust Him to use me in just the right way, at just the right time, for just the right purpose. I trust Him knowing that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).

Then, a short time later, a friend mentioned that, at the beginning of her marriage, she and her husband told God they would do whatever, whenever, wherever - without resentment, without grumbling, without reserve. And what the Lord has been able to do through them... Well, it made her think: what if all of us average, plain, ordinary disciples did likewise? What if we told God we would do whatever, whenever, wherever? Is it possible that what we do would not change very much, but what God could do with it would move mountains?

Whatever. What can I do? I have these few sheep to look after and I’m stuck in this little corner of the world, so tied to the basics. What is that in your hand? Is it a pen? Use it for the glory of God. Is it a house? Open it up to His service. Is it an ability to communicate? Tell others about Him. Everything you have has been given to you. And from the one to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48). What have you been given that you could yield to God? Take inventory and yield. If you’re willing, God is able.

Whenever. It is so easy to think that, just after this or that, it will be convenient to serve. But time is to be yielded too, and immediately. As the ages and stages of life move us along, we have to resist the temptation to ‘waiting room living’, thinking that someday God will be able to use us... once all the variables are lined up perfectly. The truth is that God is ready for you now. Yield your now and serve Him in the stage you find yourself in. Your little ones can open the door to the mums and tots’ group, the elderly, the neighbourhood children, just like Moses’ staff opened the sea. 

Wherever. We might fear or hope that this is some far-flung destination and hesitate to embrace the wherever. But wherever includes the everyday location you find yourself in right now. As Rosaria Butterfield says, “God never gets the address wrong”. Where are you? Who is close by? What is your mission field right where you are – your children, your neighbours, your school community, your local shop staff, the plumber coming to fix your leaky pipes? Could God really use your right here? Right now? 

Romans 12:1 gives a definite answer: “...here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him” (The Message).

So, you’re not David, or Moses, or Elisha. You’re just an average, plain, ordinary, freckle-faced, green-eyed girl – a mother, a sister, a friend, a neighbour. That’s okay. God is looking for average people like you who are willing to find and feed His sheep (pointing the lost to Him, and ministering Him to those already found). He can use you right where you are. Don’t undervalue the urgency of the present, and the sacredness of the everyday. Just say yes. Yield to God.