Sunday, April 11, 2010
I forgot the flannel
My first "real" job (by real, I mean one that takes money from your paycheck for the government) was at the neighborhood Curves for Women. My name badge titled me "The Director of Fun". And you better believe we had fun; those ladies never had a more fun-filled workout! Before that, I earned my dollars by babysitting. Upon graduating from high school, I worked at my home church in Sioux Fall's summer ministry program. During my first year of AFLBS, I worked as a nanny; the second year, I worked in an after school program. Last year when I lived in Fargo, I was a member of the AmeriCorps, working as a mentor for 5th graders at the YMCA. Notice the theme in all but one of the employers? You got it! Children. I kinda like them.
Now, I'm here in Beulah. And where do you suppose I'm working? The lumberyard. For those of you who don't know me that well, I'm not much a lumber-Jill. When I was younger and my dad would take me to the hardware store, I'd either end up lost, think the entire time about how weird it smelled, or gaze dumbfounded at all the tools I saw. To be honest, not much has changed despite my employment. My jobs are various in nature: helping costumers, stocking shelves, clerical work, cleaning, and whatever else they tell me to do. It's an okay job; one I'm grateful to the Lord for providing, but one that provides wonderful motivation for me to finish college.
Lately, the lumberyard has been filled with "one of those days" for me. Days where my co-workers are stressed and aren't afraid to show it. Days where I feel like the gum on the bottom of someone else's shoe. Days where I truly feel like a "misfit toy". When I have such days, I often ask the Lord why on earth He would have me working at the lumberyard.
This past week, which held "one of those days", I came home from work on my lunch hour, grabbed my Bible and started reading 2 Corinthians 3. I have always found great comfort and encouragement in verse 5 - "Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God". What a great verse as we look at our involvement in ministry! Our weakness is Christ's strength at work within us (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). He will use us for the work of His kingdom despite ourselves, despite what we lack. He is the One to supply the strength, adequacy, and success.
At least, that's how I usually thought of this verse. But the other day, I was challenged with the thought that maybe 2 Corinthians 3:5 does not simply apply to stereotypical ministry positions. Could my adequacy to be an employee at the lumberyard come from the Lord? Yes, it can and it does. The Lord may not have imparted upon me incredible knowledge of tools, wood, key-making and paint-mixing - but He is giving me incredible opportunities. Opportunities to share my faith with lost co-workers. Opportunities to become more patient and loving with those that can be so difficult to handle. Opportunities to depend more upon Him, and less upon myself.
So remember, whether you are involved in full-time ministry or take orders at a restaurant, your adequacy comes from Christ. He has placed you where He has placed you, and He will use you. Praise the Lord for doing so in spite of ourselves!