I’ve been working in ministry for almost two months now, serving at the church I’ve called my home for four years, and I love it. Every day is different, with new opportunities to reach the next person for Jesus. But a thought that’s been in the back of my head since I started my job in June is this:
Can God use me?
More specifically, can God use me here?
Me. Quiet, introverted, fan-of-reading-books-as-opposed-to-talking-to-people, me.
Can the girl who sometimes prefers dogs to people really be used in the extroverted, enthusiastic, fast-paced world of ministry?
One of my favorite verses in the Bible, and one that has become an encouragement in times of overwhelming extroversion is from 1 Thessalonians: “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before” (4:11).
Now, I don’t think this is some godly tirade against being an extrovert (seems like Jesus was a pretty big people person, if you ask me). But I do find it comforting that there’s something right there in God’s word that challenges us to live a quiet life, to mind our own business, and work with our hands.
It’s like Jesus is saying, you don’t need to be an overly charismatic, always-making-new-friends outgoing person to spread my love. You can be, but you don’t have to be.
Because really, Jesus can use anyone (Amen, am I right?).
Paul was a modern-day terrorist who killed Christians for fun.
Peter was a doubter who denied Jesus in his darkest hour.
Mary was a 16 year-old who wasn’t even married when she was asked to be the mother of God.
Me? I’m a person who’s perfectly content hanging out with her four best friends in a world constantly pushing us to expand our social circles, our personal networks. A girl who loves long chats in a culture of get-to-know-you games.
But even during this new season of being nudged out of my introverted comfort zone daily, I’ve found moments of encouragement.
One of those encouraging reminders?—the simple truth that the only time we can’t be used by God is when we think we’re adequate. When we think we can do it on our own. When we rely on our own strengths and abilities to get us through.
Because on our own we’ll never be enough. It’s a lost cause, fighting an un-winnable battle, swimming upstream, or any other analogy for futility you can think of.
It’s in our inadequacies, the constant questioning of if an introverted wannabe-writer can make a difference in this extroverted world of ministry, that God works. He fills in the gaps. It’s not a question of if God can use me, instead it’s a question of if I’m willing to be used by him, right where I’m at, for his purpose.
So, can God use me? Yes. Can he use you? Absolutely. Introverted, extroverted, and everything in between.
words and photo by Kaylyn Deiter