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potters hands

 

I recently read two books written by a missionary by the name of Kim Abernethy. These two books (In This Place & In Every Place) chronicle the years her family spent in service primarily in West Africa. What I have loved about these books is Kim’s candid observations on the condition of her own spirit and her willingness to give us a glimpse of her struggles with pride, despondency, burn-out, anger, brokenness, and simply a sense of being out of control. It was a refreshing look into a missionary’s heart.

We often make the mistake of putting missionaries, pastors, and other ministry leaders on a pedestal, imposing on them a false image of perfection. This isn’t fair to those in christian service, because they, then feel they have to hide their imperfections or lose the support of others. This isn’t fair to anyone else either, because we will compare ourselves to others in christian ministry, decide we don’t measure up and give up the call on our lives. What Kim made me realize is that even those in a ministry position are not perfect and are not immune to emotional breakdowns and tantrums.

This was actually a much needed revelation for me. I have felt a call on my life to missionary service since I was a little girl. As an adult I believed Satan’s lies that I couldn’t become a missionary because:

I am not good enough

I’m not spiritual enough

I don’t have biblical training

I don’t know enough about the Bible

I’m a sinner

I’m divorced and a single mom

I will never be able to support my kids as a missionary

All of these lies have kept me from answering God’s call on my life. I believed that until I got my issues¬†under control I could not be used in ministry. My heavenly Father knows my weaknesses: my need to control my circumstances and my impatience in waiting on Him to work. I hate to wait! I constantly have to ask myself, “is this of God or am I controlling things again?” ¬†In his loving way, he either shuts the door if it’s not from him or he let’s me suffer the consequences of my impatience. If I had to get myself together before he could use me, it would never happen! The same goes for ALL of us! It is a constant struggle and something I deal with on a daily basis.

I finally had a heart encounter with God and I know who I am in his eyes. I am His Beloved…and although I am imperfect and sometimes a mess, through his grace, he can and will use me. If we are willing, he can and will use us all. I am so glad that my trusted Savior is always willing to prune, refine and mold me into something usable. He never gives up on me. I may be broken, but I’m still in the Potter’s hand.

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