On a cold January night, I sat in my home in France. I had been face to face with God before. I had felt Him calling me many times, but this was different. I had truly had enough of distractions, chasing after what I wanted. “God,” I prayed, “I want to serve You—no matter what. I want to try.” At first, it felt like I was talking to myself, but I felt peace. Somehow, I knew it was God’s promise.
I began to ask every day: “God, what can I do to serve You? Please use me.” I was amazed at how my prayer was answered. Every day I asked for opportunities, and without fail, something came. Most things were small, like making someone a smoothie or doing a quick errand. Sometimes they were big, like taking care of kindergarten students or joining the praise team.
I had been praying extra one morning when my friend Katy came to me. “I have to give the worship talk for vespers Friday night. Can you help me?” I said, “Yes.” Over the week we worked hard on our talk. We were nervous to share in a language that was not our own to a room full of French people, many of them theology students! What’s more? Katy told me that no female student had ever given a sermon like this before!
I do not remember much of the presentation, except feeling so calm. The audience was very gracious afterwards, thanking us for blessing them. Then one of the theologians pointed straight at me with a serious look on his face. He was a new Christian, known for being very critical. He also loved to give French learners a hard time. “You,” he barked. I prepared myself for him to pick my French apart, down to the last detail! “You are a preacher,” He said. “There were a few things that didn’t work in French. I’m sure it would have been better in your own language, but it wasn’t bad. You have talent. Keep it up.” And he walked away. I could hardly believe it!
What I have learned in asking God to use me is that if you genuinely want to serve Him, He will provide opportunities. More often than not, they will not be what you expect, but God always equips us to do what He asks. We just have to be ready and willing to trust that He will help us to help Him. Like it says in 1 Corinthians 15:58: “Brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable! Work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for Him is ever useless.” I know that if you ask God: “How can I serve You?” with a willing heart, He will come through in amazing ways. It just takes being willing to say, “Lord, use me.