“If God wants it to, my life will be useful through my word and witness. If He wants it to, my life will bear fruit through my prayers and sacrifices. But the usefulness of my life is His concern, not mine!” – Dominique Voillaume
I liked this quote because it shows a humble attitude and a dependence on God for the final product of our life. In it there is a realization that it is only by God’s grace that our efforts come to fruition. (That’s not to say that we don’t have a part to play in our faith, simply that it isn’t based on our own efforts things ultimately come to pass).
This is both encouraging and challenging for me. It is encouraging to know God takes a personal interest in the happenings of my life. But it is also challenging to think that I can’t simply try harder if it isn’t part of God’s plan.
There is a saying I’ve heard before that goes something like this, “If God wants something to happen then nothing I can do will be able to stop it and if He doesn’t want something to happen then nothing I can do will make it come to pass.” This shows to me the importance of sticking close to God so that your desires are in line with His – otherwise you’ll just end up frustrated that nothing is working out!
As I come up to a milestone birthday this week, it does make me sit back and take stock of my life a bit. I know I haven’t done anything big or important in the eyes of the world with my life and yet I also know that doesn’t mean my time here on earth has been wasted by any means. In this I’m reminded of the following verse:
“But the godly will flourish like palm trees
and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.
They flourish in the courts of our God.
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green.
They will declare, “The Lord is just!
He is my rock!
There is no evil in him!” (Psalm 92:12-15 NLT)
I love this verse because it shows me that it’s not all downhill from here but that if we put our trust in God then He helps us “remain vital and green” even as we get older. That my faith can remain vibrant and my life can still impact those around me.
A book series that had a profound shift in the way I saw my life was The Mitford Series by Jan Karon. God used this awhile back to show me that a simple and “small” life can still be important at a time when I was struggling to find meaning in mine. Another book that impacted me along these lines was Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman. This book helped me look for and appreciate the sacredness of the “ordinary Tuesdays” of our lives as well as encouraging me to see God in the here and now of my life.
In all these, and especially in the Dominique Voillaume quote, I am reminded to remain faithful to do my part and trust God for the part He plays in my life. Our lives don’t have to be big and flashy to make a difference. If your life is then that’s wonderful but make sure to give the glory to God.
If, on the other hand, you are among the vast majority of us living a quieter life then also know God is in this as well. That nothing is wasted and that God’s kingdom is often topsy-turvy in matters of importance. Remember to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” and everything else will fall into perspective (Matthew 6:33 NIV).