- the effect or influence that something or someone has on a person's thoughts or feelings; a characteristic, trait, or feature resulting from some influence; an effect of alteration or improvement; a stamp, form, or figure resulting from physical contact; an especially marked and often favorable influence or effect on feeling, sense, or mind; a communicating of a mold, trait, or character by an external force or influence. (Webster Definition)
Last week I spent some time at the beautiful beach. As always my heart was filled with all of God's amazing Wonders as I sat in the soft, warm sand watching the vibrant blue water rise and curl up into crispy white crashing waves that rolled up practically reaching my toes. The sky full of its luxurious blueness sprinkled with fluffy white cotton like clouds. The vibrant yellow sun playing peek-a-boo as it moves behind the floating clouds and then emerging with such brilliance reflecting sparkling crystals dancing across the sea. Birds flying in and out acrobatically diving into the water in search of treasures for their belly. Like clockwork, the water, waves, sun, sky and all the beach creatures doing what God has called them to do. The water to be the liquid mass housing sea creatures large and small. The waves to roll with force onto the beach to its limit and then to graciously roll back out to sea. The sky to hold the radiant warm sun housing all its wonderfully shaped clouds allowing the faint breeze to create such phenomenal shapes that are truly artistic. All of these elements definitely are impressible. Nothing more...nothing less...these elements are just doing what has been asked of them...obediently--doing what they were created for.
I was in awe. As I sat taking all of this in, I began to wonder...Do I obediently do what God asks of me...doing what I was created for? What does this look like? Then as I played in the sand with my hands and feet God began to speak to my heart. As I pressed my hand down into the recently smoothed over sand some of the sand began to cover the top of my hand. The firmer I pressed down the more sand covered my hand. But as I lifted my hand the sand that had once covered my hand remained on top and then flew into the air as I shook it away from the impression. As I looked at what was formed I realized that in my trying to make an impression I was experiencing some unexpected and unwanted sand that came upon me, however, after it being gone there before me was a wonderfully firm imprint of my hand. A beautiful impression.
It was one simple task of making an impression in the sand. When examined closer one can see that hundreds, if not thousands of tiny individual sand particles was affected by this one task, this one impression. The individual sand particles were moved...they changed their place because of this impression. As time goes on the impression will be gone but the affect will remain. Others will make their impressions on these very same sand particles moving them, changing their place affecting other sand particles creating new shapes and molds along the beach. This, too, is true of us as we allow God to use us to impress His Love on the hearts of others. It can be as simple as something you do in your everyday life to going to a foreign country to help others. Everyone of us who embraces the glory of God as our purpose will end up doing great things because we do God-things! To live for the greatness of God is to live a great life!
"God loves people who love to give. God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things." 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 (CEV)
God calls us all to do many different kinds of things in His Name. It looks different in so many ways yet it is for the same reason we do it...to be more like Christ. God gives us the freedom to choose whether or not we will do what is asked of us. He equips us, He helps us so that His Work can be accomplished. We all have gifts and talents which is a 'trust' placed in our human hands by a Holy God. We are responsible for developing the integrity, humility and work-ethic to know what to do with them. Look to God for Truth. He will give you peace in your journey.
God designed you perfectly. You are God's delight, God's handiwork, and you are wonderfully unique. Despite pressures from outside forces (like the sand covering up my hand) that make you feel as if you don't measure up and can't make a difference, God loves you just as you are and more than you can ever know and can use you to bless others. Your life is a wonderful story that is waiting to be shared. Are you willing to allow God to use your life to give to others? What does this look like for you? Is there an area in your life that still needs to be relinquished to God's guidance? Bring your moments to God and He will fill them with exactly what you need precisely when you need it.
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
Whenever I question or doubt what is being asked of me, I quickly read these very encouraging verses in Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV) "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His Power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
God wants to use you and will use you to be His Hands and Feet...if you are willing? Are you?
Take care and be blessed,