I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be available to God for Him to use for His purposes. What it looks like for us to let God use us.
I often read Scripture - especially in Acts - and see the things God did through the people of the early church and wonder why it seems so far from my own experience. Acts is full of stories of the way that God was changing people's lives.
What is it that was different about them? Why do those stories sometimes seem so far from my own experience?
If God did all those things in Acts, then He can still do them today. So, why do they not seem to happen now - except in mostly far-off places?
I know those things do still happen. There are stories of this . . . and not all in far-ff places. It happens where I am too. But, I know I often miss them, or I hear the stories of them without seeing anything like them in my own life.
As I've reflected on this the last few months, I've started to wonder if the reason we feel like this is missing is because we're too busy to see the opportunities and be available. We're too busy to be stopped by the person we see on the street, or in the grocery store.
Or maybe our hearts have become hard to what we see. We no longer see the people, we just see the problem that we don't want to get involved with.
We can easily come up with a ton of excuses why we're not the one to be used in that situation, with that person. But, as I was reminded tonight by a speaker I was listening to, when God is involved He removes all our excuses.
If we're going to see God do those amazing things we read of in Scripture, we have to have hearts that are soft enough to see people. We have to be willing to have our plans interrupted. So we can join in what God is up to. Not for the stories we can tell, but so we can be available to be used in what God was up to already.
For the last few months I've been praying differently. Rather than praying for God to do something big, I've been praying that He would give me the ability to see what He is already up to and how I can join in that moment. It's a prayer of being willing to be interrupted in my plans for the day, to have a heart that is soft enough to break for what I see as I go about my day.
I don't have any stories of spectacular things God has done. But, I do know that something has been different in how I go through my day, in how I see the people that come across my path. I may not know what happens as a result of my obedience, but that's not even what this is about.
As I was reminded again tonight, it's about being available to come alongside what God is already doing. And, I think that begins with prayer. It starts with us asking God to interrupt our days and soften our hearts. And then we respond to what we see.