Needed vs. Used

Needed/ 1. Require (something) because it is essential or very important.  2.Expressing necessity or obligation.

Used/ Employed for a purpose; utilized.

This week I am preparing to go on a backpacking trip with 53 other ladies from my church!  It takes a lot of thought, work, preparation, planning and PRAYER to pull this off.  And every single minute of preparation is totally worth it!  This morning though, my phone been blowing up with last minute questions, prayer requests, last minute to-do’s and tasks.  In a lull between phone calls, texts and emails I sat out on my porch and in an effort to think positively, I thought how nice it is to be “needed”.  As soon as that thought left, I felt a check.  You know the thing I’m talking about- where you know what you said, did or thought wasn’t quite right.  Think Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio.  Let me say how incredily grateful I am there’s not a cricket jumping on my shoulder every time I start to go “off”!  That stupid cricket would need to set up a permanent camp on my shoulder!  But I digress, you know the gut-check feeling I’m talking about.  As I took a moment to breathe, I thought I would look up what the word “needed” means.  I could think of plenty of examples, but what does it really mean.  “Needed: Require (something) because it is essential or important.  Expressing necessity or obligation.”   While I would like to think I am required and essential to my family, friends, ministry, job…..the truth of the matter is, I’m not.  While I may be an important part of each of those, I’m not needed for each to keep moving and thriving.

Before our thoughts turn sad and depressing, let’s look at the other word-                    “Used: Employed for a purpose; utilized”.  Do you see the difference?!  I love this!!  So many times, we hear the word used and it has negative connotations- used and abused, used car, use people without consideration, use drugs, use alcohol, no use, used up.  But, when you look at the above definition, “Employed for a purpose; utilized” I can get excited about that!!  I want to be used in my family, in my friendships, the ministry and the job I’m in!  I want people to need Jesus, not me!  And I want to be used by Jesus!  Because that takes all the pressure off me!  I am not needed to be anyone’s savior- Jesus did that!  I am not needed to fix anything or anyone- Jesus does that!  I am not needed to be all things to all people- Jesus does that!!  What I can do is be available, willing and open to being used by Jesus wherever He has me for however long He has me there.

There are so many examples in the Bible and throughout history of unlikely people God used to do amazing things, all because they said yes.   Moses, all kinds of messes there but God used him to free His people.  David, a kid used to slay a giant.  Peter, impulsive & even denied Jesus but that was turned around and God used him mightily. Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr, Billy Graham, you know all of them!  What about…Katie Davis-as a single lady she went to Uganda, stayed there to live, has adopted 13 daughters and started a school that is changing lives.  How about George & Lolly Greene-founders of Water Missions International: tackling the global water crisis after they saw immense need and no solutions.  Ok how about, Brian and Barbara Fischer- dear friends of mine who fostered over 20 children and have adopted 3 children.  Jerry and Lana McSwain, friends who are passionate about mentoring, discipling and pointing people to grow closer to Christ.  Leroy Harper-had some rough starts in life but is now working with youth and communities to show and teach what he has learned and lead other young men in the wholeness of Christ.  Greg & Liz McCool, Lynne Stroy, Caleb & Sierra Scott, Brian Lewis, Katie Crowell, David & Sharon Lyon, Elyse Salamon, Greg & Laurie Boevin, Casey & Rachel Glowacki, Dan & Leslie Rimerman, Amy Treneff, Brian & Jessica Warden, Josh & Jen Arel, Dana Martin, Oliver & Amie Heath, Jennifer Williamson, Megan Ferrell.  I could go on for days!!  These are people who said yes!  They have said yes to the hard, the messy and they said yes to being used by God!  It’s not easy.  Most if not all would say some days it’s downright hard & exhausting.  But I believe they would all say it’s worth it. As Stephen and I are still moving into the “yes” of the farm, it is so incredibly wonderful to know God doesn’t need us to accomplish any of it.  How humbling to know He wants to use us to see His will accomplished.  Totally changes the perspective, doesn’t it?   My prayer is that we don’t ever let the desire to be needed cloud or change where our focus should be.  Let’s leave the needs to God and stick to being used wherever He has us.

There are current areas and will be even more possibilites of being used at the farm as we continue on.  If you would like more information, please email Stephen at slewis@journeytogetherministries.org.  We can also add you to the launch team and you can be kept up to date with all that’s hapening at the farm.  Blessings!

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