process by which God shapes His servants is one of the most amazing to witness.
It’s incredible how wonderfully wise and loving He is.
It’s only when we look back that we realize how little we understood of the
process of our own growth. Let’s compare how He worked in shaping two very
to Jesus empty-handed, unschooled and artless, with no skills or abilities to
boast of (even his ability to fish wasn’t even all that reliable, see Luke 5).
God gave him everything he needed to
serve. Through the Holy Spirit, God gave Peter the courage to stand and the
eloquence to move thousands through speech (Acts 2).
to Jesus with his hands full of earthly gifts. He had the best schooling, high
status, and power among the Jews. God took
away everything he had so he could realize what was of true worth—the
knowledge of Jesus—and thus make huge sacrifices for service. By the end of his
life, Paul boasted only of his own weakness (2 Cor 11:30).
God works similarly in our lives, taking away and giving to us so that He can
shape and help us to become mature in our faith. For example, we may find ourselves assigned to do
something for Him that we feel we aren’t qualified for,
making us rely on Him to give us the abilities and talents we need to complete
the task (e.g. Moses). Or, we lose something significant (a job, an educational
opportunity, our health, etc.), only to find that we have gained something
bigger—such as an understanding of His will, the lesson of submission, or spiritual
growth (e.g. Joseph).
As we go
on in our spiritual journey, we need to trust in the goodness of His will and
the wisdom of His way, for “He who has begun a good work in [us] will complete
it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6). So whatever trials come during
our servitude, let us not lose heart or grow weary. Instead, let us say:
But now, O Lord, You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.
Questions for Reflection
is something that God has given you to help you serve Him?
is something that God has taken away?
have these molded you or impacted the way that you serve Him?