August 28, 2008

Use What You Have

John 15:1-8

“If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”
John 15:5 (TNIV)


In Breaking Barriers, Dirk Vander Steen writes about Laraba, a Nigerian woman. Laraba owned nothing. She had even lost her fingers and toes as a side effect of leprosy. Her feet seemed hopelessly deformed. But some kind Christian medical people gave her surgery to restore a walking surface to her feet. For months Laraba lay in a hospital bed with heavy casts on her legs, but her hands stayed busy. She would never have been able to pay for the surgery or follow-up care with money, but she made little gifts. She did embroidery, stitching Bible verses or short Nigerian proverbs on pieces of cloth. Each of these took weeks to complete. One day she handed a completed text to one of her caregivers. As he praised and thanked her, she lifted her fingerless hands before him and declared, “I make use of what I have.” Most of us feel as if we don't have much to offer in service to God. Yet our strength is not in ourselves, but in the Savior, Jesus Christ. As a branch needs the vine that it grows from, so we need our Lord and Savior. In him we will bear much fruit. He will take the little that we have and use it for great good when we offer it to him and “make use of what we have.”

Thank you, dear Jesus, for giving us gifts to share with others. May we make use of what we have. May we also encourage others to use their gifts to the glory of God. Amen.

About the author — Mark Stephenson

Rev. Mark Stephenson is the Director of Disability Concerns for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he served in two congregations in Michigan. He and his wife have four children.

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