In Revelation 7:9, we read of God’s final plan…and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. I get so excited about the end plan, the calling together of all nations to worship God, before his throne. I want to be there. But…then I look around and realize, breakfast needs to be eaten, and I have to go to work.
I had the privilege of living outside my own country for almost a decade. Believe me, it was easy to lose sight of the goal. Daily grind set in strong. Does this sound familiar? It happens no matter where we live. Below is an article I wrote that originally was published in 2016*, and it reflects a typical unglamorous day of my life in Central Asia. A day in which I discovered that despite the mundane existence I felt myself living, God wanted to use me in a small way. I share it now, because we can get overwhelmed when we hear stories about the big things people do for God, when in fact life is mainly a series of small choices.
As I read the article, it reminded me of what I have been relearning in our Renovare group, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst. What is active faith? I am reminded that it is a combination of connecting daily with God, fostering an open heart, and having a willingness to respond “yes” when opportunities come our way.
The Simplest of Prayers
The Simplest of Prayers…The Smallest of Answers…The Whisper of God
The day was sweltering. The country in Central Asia, where I lived was a country of extremes. The weather was no exception, with cold brutal winds and snows in the winter and a hot relentless sun in the summertime (without the relief of rain for months). It was smack in the middle of summer, and I had spent a long tiresome day trying to keep my two children, (who were under the age of four), happy and cool. As the day waned, irritation overcame me, and an internal dialogue ran through my head.
“Why on earth am I in this country if all I do is stay at home? How can I possibly interact well with my neighbors when I had small unhappy children, who needed to nap, needed clothes washed, diapers changed, and meals prepared for them?”
Pointless…might have run through my mind a couple of times.
Finally, the highlight of my day came: team meeting. I say that with no sarcasm at all. Team meeting meant to me blissful interaction with adults and adult conversation, and adults who were making a difference in the world. Perhaps, I could live vicariously through them. I gathered my daughter and sent my son to go find his shoes. As I buttoned on my long black coat, the bitterness rose that I had to put a coat on to go out in 100-degree heat. I wrapped my headscarf around my hair and tucked it around my body so it could not fall off. It was then that I said a simple prayer out of desperation, “Lord, I just really want to be used here. Please, use me today.”
I put my daughter in her stroller and headed out our gate for the 15-minute walk to my teammates’ house where we would have our weekly meeting. My son bounded next to me swinging a stick in his hand, and happiness radiating from him, blissfully unaware of his mother’s internal struggle, and I wished I could siphon just a fraction of his energy and his joy.
We turned up the steep hill near our house. I pushed the stroller with all my might, and music played in a court yard nearby. I concluded a wedding must be going on. At the top of the hill, I turned and left the paved road for the flat dusty path that would take me across the sports arena and onto the much-desired, tree-lined side of the city where our teammates lived. Just as I was entering the sports arena, I saw a woman gesture to me.
She had her veil completely pulled back, exposing her face, which was highly unusual for this part of the country. She impatiently gestured (again) for me to come to her. I looked over my shoulder trying to figure out if it was someone else she wanted. Why would she be beckoning to me? I cautiously approached the plump elderly woman, who was breathing heavily. When I arrived next to her, she shot out a wrinkled hand, and grabbed the side of my stroller hanging on for dear life. She took, heaved in, several deep breathes and then asked if I could walk her across the sports arena.
We plodded across the dusty, parched, ground. As she regained control of her breathing, she slowly chatted with me about how she had been at a wedding and had wanted to go home. When she started out, she realized that she had felt very weak, which is why she had beckoned for my help. She asked me where I lived and why I was here. I told her that God had brought us here to serve her people, and help them rebuild their nation. She smiled and patted my hand.
Finally, we reached the other side, she took another deep breath and said that she was not far from home, and was fine now. Together we crossed the street, and we parted I giving the traditional, “goodbye, go with God.”
As I watched her plod home and enter a gate a couple doors down, I realized that she had been the answer to my prayer, and I to hers. “Use me today, Lord. Use me here,” is a simple prayer that became one I uttered often during my time in Central Asia.
Question to consider: How have you seen God work through the simple prayer “Use me today, Lord—use me here”?
*“This piece was originally published by Thrive Ministry on thriveministry.org/
connection. Thrive is a nonprofit organization that exists to replenish women
ministering overseas. To learn more, visit thriveministry.org.”
Melissa Meyers is co-editor of The Stir, wife to John, and mother to Malcolm (18) and Emily (15). She is a Neonatal Nurse and Creative Writer. She is the author of, Beneath the Ancient Dust: Inspirational Stories from Nine Years in Afghanistan and Mrs. Beaumont and the Christmas Calendar. Her hobbies are coffee, reading, and taking long walks. She will accept an invitation out for coffee anytime.