Christmas Reflections, Day 2: Usefulness to God

There are gaps in this story, a story filled with this most unlikely cast of characters. We love to fill in these gaps. And so doing we develop a worldview full of assumptions.

That to earn God’s favor one must do something.

That to find God’s will one must search.


Doesn’t Christmas though remind us of the absurdity of this view?

This cast of characters wasn’t searching. They weren’t doing anything. Nothing special. Nothing above the mundane.


It is a fallacy to think that finding God’s plan for your life has to be complicated. It is born of the gaps in the story and our misguided assumptions intended to fill in them in. To provide explanations.

Well-meaning, but wrong nonetheless.

God’s will is that you love Him. That you seek Him. That you follow Him. And that you allow that pursuit to change you from the inside out.

Our call is to get busy with that.


If God calls you to do something unusual, something above the mundane, Christmas reminds us that He’ll take care of the details.


The Old Testament Joseph reminds us that if God wants you to move to Egypt, He’ll send you eleven jealous brothers and throw you in a pit. He may even add in a promiscuous and vengeful woman to boot.

David reminds us that if God wants you to slay a giant, He will send you with sandwiches to deliver to your brothers, dropping a Goliath in the way of that pursuit.

Mary reminds us that if God wants you to give birth to the Savior of the world, He’ll put a baby in your womb and send you on a wild goose chase to Bethlehem.


Those in the Bible who did the biggest things for God were unaware they were doing anything at all.


There is no secret plan or special instructions to being used by God.

God didn’t give Joseph special information on how to go from being the son of a poor, broke down nomad to Pharaoh’s right hand in Egypt. What He did give him were eleven jealous brothers to navigate through, the attention of a very loose and manipulative woman, and the ability to interpret dreams and manage other’s affairs with grace and faithfulness despite his circumstances.

God never gave Mary a five step plan for being used by Him. He just did. Because He decided to.


Christmas reminds us this is His story. We’re just in it.


Don’t fall for the lie that your usefulness to God depends on monumental decisions that you make.

And that the small things that you do day in and day out don’t matter.


Don’t fall for the idea that God’s got just one plan for your life, and your job is to find it. And that if you don’t that you’re just out of luck.


Christmas reminds us this is all His. For Him and by Him and up to Him. For His glory.


Christmas takes the pressure off of us.

Pressure to perform.

Pressure to search.

Pressure to decide.


Christmas reminds us it is God telling the story. Whether we are aware of it or not. And He may decide to use you in its telling. And He may not. And that’s fine too.

Because it’s His story. Why are we so eager to be used?

More on this tomorrow….

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