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Pointers along the way #107

Chosen for a special task
- Jacob Ninan

Each of us is unique in the sense that there is no one exactly like us in the whole world. We have each such a combination of abilities, background, circumstances and experience that makes us just the right people to carry out a particular task that no one else can fulfill. Don't think only about the prominent and outstanding ministries as the tasks people have to do. Very few people are called for such ministries, and most of the work is expected to be carried out by ordinary people like us! (Ep.4:11,12).

Many of us make the mistake of imagining that we are not so important in God's kingdom. But it is easy to see how we are mistaken when we look at the way the human body works. Granted that what other people notice most are what the mouth, hands and legs do. But think of the important roles played by the hidden parts like the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and many smaller parts. It is when all the parts of the body work together in harmony that the body is able to function normally and carry out useful service for the others.

In the kingdom of God, there is a unique task that each of us has to accomplish. It may be comforting someone just by visiting him, passing on orally or through letter or email the right word which someone needs, helping someone with money or practical assistance, praying, sharing the gospel through our testimony or teaching, sharing in someone else's sorrow, supporting and enabling someone else to carry out his ministry, etc. There are literally millions of things that need to be done. Our own peculiar background may be what enables us to do some particular thing which someone with a different background may not even recognise as necessary (See 2Co.1:3,4 in this context).

Given a free hand I think all of us would head for the prominent ministries, not only because they are what would satisfy our ego, but also because we may not be even aware that there is need for some of the other things. One way God leads us to these 'special' tasks may be by closing doors in our face. We naturally feel disappointed and perhaps discouraged because some of our dreams have been shattered. But that is because we don't realise that God is closing some doors in order to draw us towards some other doors which we would have ignored.

When God redirects us by such measures it may appear to us that it is a calamity. But remember God is still in control, and He is silently planning for our welfare (Je.29:11). He will even turn what looks like a calamity to work for our good (Ro.8:28). Our 'bad' experiences prepare us to minister to someone else who is going through difficult times because no one else is sensitive to such things. Closed doors lead us to go in entirely new directions which we would never have imagined before that they existed. But later on we will be able to look back and see how wonderfully the Lord has led us!