I cannot remember when I decided that I want to be a teacher, where I want to go to school, and what I want to do with my life. It seems like I have just always known. I’ve been teased about being so predictable, and I’ve been praised for having my life so “together.” After all, I’ve had my life planned out since I was about 15, and it’s gone *almost* as expected.
Ever since I can remember, I have had this vision in my head of who I want to be. At times, it has become a bit of an idol, because the person that I strive to be is wildly successful, perfectly godly, unfailingly kind, and basically impossible to become.
Sometimes I hate how predictable I am. People say “get out of your comfort zone!” and “do great things for God!” I often feel like God cannot use me because I had a great childhood, without any significant pain or heartache. Sometimes I think that He can’t use me because I’m not doing anything big for Him, like moving to a different country to serve underprivileged children or devoting my life to help the homeless. Sometimes I believe that He cannot use me because I cannot measure up to that perfect girl who I want to be.
My life is so normal. All I do is go to class at a Christian university, serve at my church, and work in a restaurant in my hometown. Likely, I will finish my teaching degree and get a teaching job at a private school close to where I’ve grown up. I am not like Katie Davis Majors, forfeiting my education and my dreams to serve God in a third world country. I’m just predictable, regular Miriam, and sometimes I feel like God loves me less because I’m not dropping it all for Him.
Steven Lee, a pastor from Minnesota, rebuttes this lie. He says:
If your résumé is sparse, your intellect feeble, your skills unimpressive, and your wisdom just average, fret not. God can use even you — even me. God wants to use those who look away from their self-sufficiency to his all-sufficiency. God uses all those who humble themselves before the cross, boasting only in him — his strength, his wisdom, his righteousness, his accomplishment.
God uses pathetic people for his glorious purposes to show his superior power. Do not begrudge your weakness. Do not lament your insufficiency. Rejoice that Christ is all-sufficient and always dependable.*
God has been teaching me that just because I may not be serving Jesus in a “big” way does not mean that I cannot completely devote my life to Him. Jesus is my everything, which means that I must learn to live and breath ministry in my normal life.
Christ doesn’t call everyone to do crazy things for Him. Sometimes He calls us to give Him all of our normal. Sometimes He calls us to do small, sometimes hard, things in our daily lives for Him. He calls some people to work regular jobs, be regular students, raise regular kids, and go to regular churches. Serving God in the normal may not get us a ton of attention or help us sign our first book deal. But it will get us eternal reward in heaven. One of my favorite verses, Colossians 3:23-24, says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (ESV). Take comfort in the fact that God sees every little thing that we do for Him, whether it be showing kindness toward that coworker that you dislike, practicing integrity with your homework, or encouraging a struggling friend. God will someday reward us for everything that we work for with our whole hearts, whether it be giving everything up to become a missionary or studying for yet another college final.
I will never be that perfectly godly, successful, and kind girl that I envision. But I can be a girl who follows God’s will moment by moment in my everyday normal. Right now, God has not called me to do crazy things for Him; He has called me to make little sacrifices and godly choices that will have an eternal impact for Him.
Next time you hear an incredible story about how an someone led thousands to Christ, rejoice in how God is working. But never forget that you can make just as much of an impact in the normalcy of your daily life. Sometimes He calls us to do crazy things, and sometimes He doesn’t, but He will reward each of us someday for both the crazy and the normal.