When I was little, I was terrified of that story of the talents- the one where God gets mad at the guy for hiding his gift in the sand and not using it.??? I felt constant guilt, that I could really soar if I just tried hard enough. I was so SCARED of God giving up on me and putting me on the shelf- I told Him I would do ANYTHING- janitorial, etc. I just wanted Him to use me, and not be disappointed in me. I remember looking at the tool box there at our little church, wishing and praying that I could be a “hammer” for Jesus- something powerful and useful and needed. Or a power drill- they are awesome and expensive and wanted. I determined to try my hardest to be that hammer for God- the BEST, the toughest. Desperate not to be put on the shelf as a disappointment. Then one day, just a couple of years ago, this all came back to me, when my grampa Barker died. I was remembering how he always had this rusty old pocket knife on him everywhere he went in his breastpocket. It was from his navy days in world war 2. He used it everyday for EVERYTHING- paint scraping, tooth picking, apple cutting, undoing screws, cutting the dogs nails etc. It was close to his heart so much, that even after he was gone, it still smelled like him. And in that moment, God said to me, (okay now I am crying), Trish, kid, you’re my pocket knife. Not a hammer, or a big power drill that comes out one in awhile for a big project and then goes back. You are my pocket knife. When I need someone for a job, I call you and you are there. Big jobs, little jobs, icky and glamourous. I know you will say yes, and you don’t fail me. I use you all the time, and best of all, after each job you go right back close to my heart, so that every time I pull you out front you bring the “smell” of me, and the heat of my Presence to those around- you remind them of Me. You don’t have to fight anymore to be a hammer. I didn’t want another hammer. I’m pretty happy with my pocket knife.” I lay there in the dark and sobbed. I guess I am okay with not being a “hammer for God” anymore. I know I am not a disappointment to Him. And being a pocket knife feels pretty darn good. You will fly higher than even I can imagine (and that is pretty far). And you are never a disappointment to Him. He made you perfectly for what you do. And no one else can do that. There are a lot of hammer and powerdrills in this world. But not many beloved pocket knives. I believe in you, and God does too. Be who He created YOU to be. Love Trisha

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