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Used

God has given me His loving-favor. This helps me write these things to you. I ask each one of you not to think more of himself than he should think. Instead, think in the right way toward yourself by the faith God has given you. (Romans 12:3)

I allowed these words to sink in a bit this morning because there are just some days when I sit to study and write my blog, but nothing 'new' or 'exciting' comes. I just read, reread, and then attempt something. Ever have those moments? This morning I think God was showing me there is no 'thing' within me that writes these blogs - it is HIM in me that helps me write them! The thought crossed my mind that there are others who might be reading this post today who feel like God will never, or could never do anything good through their lives. The word to you today is this - God has given you his loving-favor AND because of that, you are able to do the things he has designed for you to do. There aren't going to be big flashing lights, screaming sirens, or messages written on the wall to convince you that God is within you and has a specific purpose for your life - so stop looking for those things. In fact, he already has given you all the assurance you need. His presence within you stands as an assurance that his calling is on your life - now get up and do whatever it is he has called you to do!

Perhaps one of the hardest things we struggle with is a feeling of 'certainty' that we are proceeding in the right direction for our lives. I am in the midst of doing some remodeling that needed to be done for some time now, but with mom's failing health I didn't want to have her environment upended. Now that mom has passed, I have begun to do all those things that I put off for quite some time and it isn't always easy knowing how to proceed, in what order things should be done, and how well I can get these things done without going over my budget. I was having a dickens of a time trying to find a vanity and counter top that would replace the one in my bathroom (over 30 year old counters and shower needing to be replaced). I searched high and low, but with COVID shortages abounding, the selections were abysmal. It would take me longer to get any I liked than the start date for the contractor to do the work, so I was struggling with moving forward. You know what helped? My daughter's words spoken back to me - words she said I tell her all the time - but words I needed to hear myself!

Those words? She simply reminded me that I needed to pray on it that night, ask God to settle my heart, and if I did not have peace by the morning, not to proceed. Well, isn't she just the smartest girl ever! If you have ever had one of your kids 'speak back' your own words as they get a little older in life, you know there comes this overwhelming sense of 'hey, they were actually listening' kind of moment. Sometimes we think no one is paying attention to us, or that our life-efforts don't really amount to much, but trust me on this one...someone is always watching, listening, observing to learn. We may not know it, but they are! We don't have to have the clearest of direction to know how to proceed in life, we just have to use the direction we have and then begin to walk. In time, the direction becomes clearer and the determination needs to be doubled. Yes, the walk can be hard and the destination not so clear, but here is the hard truth - if we don't ever set out, we won't ever get anywhere! That one was free. Now, back to our passage - God doesn't just 'save' us so we can sit on a shelf looking pretty. He asks us to be 'used' in his kingdom. Maybe it isn't teaching or preaching - but you could sew face masks for the homeless, or help out an elderly neighbor with their yard work. It isn't about us - it is about him being used through us. Just sayin!

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