Feeling useless has come when I haven’t seen Father outwardly active in me for a while and I begin to think I’m doing nothing, having no effect, and just breathing air.
“Feeling useless” is a lie, of course. One that likes to show up just before Father surprises me with something special.
His surprise happened the other day via a young mother who was discouraged and frustrated. She couldn’t get her child support from her baby’s daddy and they fought every time they talked.
At first it surprised me that she blurted out the whole story. I had only said “hello”. I’d just shown up.
But here it came like a flood, spilling over me and the room where we sat. She got my attention and I listened with my heart. And I waited for words from Father.
She said “I try to be a good Christian and forgive him all the time. I try so hard, but he makes me so angry.”
As she talked, I began to hear that she wasn’t nearly as angry as she was deeply heartbroken and disappointed. Their relationship had only ended a few weeks ago and her struggle was inside the pain of betrayal.
Father knew and through Him, I saw. I briefly told her a story of heart-wrenching betrayal and disappointment in my own life and how Father had lead me to write a part of Isaiah 41:10 on a dry erase board where I could see it every day. “I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties.”
I didn’t understand the verse at the time, but it drew me. I knew it held a key I wanted.
With time, I learned that strength lies in having no expectations and no needs from others. If we set them free, we free ourselves. For instance, when I expect certain behavior or certain needs to be met by someone else, then I have given them power to deeply disappoint and hurt me.
Father has promised to fill my needs and satisfy my expectations, so I don’t require them from others.
No one else can ever NOT disappoint us. Only Father can fill those shoes.
She looked at me with wide eyes, contemplating what I’d said. Then said “that’s interesting” and she wanted to think about it some more. She added that she felt better and then apologized for “dumping” on me. We parted company with a hug and a smile.
On my own, I might have thought this conversation was about child support and an open door to man-bashing. It’s common and might have been what she expected from me.
But it is a helpless mindset. It considers only what we can do for ourselves, which is a vicious downward spiral.
When we stop talking “about” God and begin talking “to” Him as a person, then we connect with the Father of the Universe. And access the answer to everything.
Father knew this young lady’s issue was about broken expectations and He had taken the opportunity to share my story. He introduced her to the concept of strength and overcoming.
It was new to her. She may embrace it quickly, or she may take time to absorb it. Whichever happens, I went on my way thoroughly contented that He is active and present in her life. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have coordinated this meeting.
And I was reminded that I’m never useless. He is always busy, creative and flooding me with Himself. His heart is always there!