The other day I grabbed a pencil and some note cards and went down to the lake to write down some things that were on my mind. The ideas began to flow, but as I put the pencil to the paper, I realized that the pencil was dull. It had a little bit of life left in it, but not much. Before long I was sketching out words partly in lead and partly in wood scratches.
And then an “out of the blue” thought popped in to my mind, “Right now, am I more of a pencil, a marker or a pen?”
Am I pencil, who needs sharpening when I wear down? Do I need to stop and be reminded and sharpened by the truth of God’s Word in order to be an instrument for His use? Am I dull and therefore not able to do the work that God has set out for me?
Or am I a marker that is drying out? Call it burn out or over-use syndrome , do I need to steal away to a protected place and become refreshed again? Do I need time for restoration and renewal?
Or am I ball point pen that has completely run out of ink and needs a new cartridge? Are there parts of my life that are no longer beneficial to myself or others? Are there parts that are not bringing glory to God? Are there “dead” parts within me that need to be replaced with life?
How about you, dear reader? Are you worn down and feeling like you are of little use to God? Turn to the Lord and ask Him to show you what you can do. Do you need to be sharpened and reminded of God’s truth, by His Word? Do you need to sequester away and be refreshed and revitalized? Or do you need ask God to remove the parts that are no longer of use, and replace them with new power and strength so that you are equipped to follow and serve Him?
For me, perhaps it is a bit of each. Burn out sets in when I am tired, not seeking God faithfully in His Word, guarding my time in prayer, or evaluating my life and asking God to remove those parts that are not godly or honoring to Him. Thankfully, God is faithful and always present to restore and make us useful for His service. We are His instruments of peace and grace. God chooses to use our lives to write the story of His love which He in turn will use to bring life to the world around us.