I'll always remember the summer of 2008 as the time my parents decided to completely remodel our house. We knocked down every wall in the whole house except for one. I remember using a sledgehammer to help take out the tile in the kitchen. And climbing on the rebar sticking out of the new cement. I remember the craziness of all the kiddos sharing a room and my mom having a baby in the middle of the process. But probably the most important thing I remember happened when my dad and I installed the new washing machine.
We worked together to get it lined up and then leaned together to shove it into place. As we got a few inches away from the wall, I swear I watched in slow motion as a screwdriver rolled off of the window ledge and fell behind the washing machine just as we finished pushing it into place.
My dad looked at me and said, "Well. That's going to stay there for the next 10 years." (In case you've never tried moving a washing machine, those suckers are heavy.)
So here we are 10 years later and that screwdriver is still there. I've thought about that experience a lot and I've reached this conclusion: the screwdriver isn't doing anybody any good by hiding behind the washing machine. Sometimes I feel like I "hide behind a washing machine" and don't allow God to use me as the tool I could be. Because here's the thing: God is not a tool on my tool belt. I am a tool on God's tool belt.
DON'T HIDE BEHIND A WASHING MACHINE! God can use you and will use you if you let Him. The quote below is long, but it is one of my very, very favorites!
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson
I love this quote so much and agree 100%! Everyone has a contribution to make. If you haven't figured out what your individual talents are, ask God and ask those around you! One of our greatest collective weaknesses is our lack of faith in ourselves. Too often, we fail to see our tremendous worth. That simply won't do. God needs us to be everything we can be!
"When we obey the commandments of the Lord and serve His children unselfishly, the natural consequence is power from God—power to do more than we can do by ourselves. Our insights, our talents, our abilities are expanded because we receive strength and power from the Lord.” -Richard G. Scott
The Atonement doesn't just allow us to repent and be forgiven, but it also enables us, strengthens us, and gives us a desire and power to serve beyond our natural capacity. Being a tool on God's tool belt means that we allow Him to use us in ways we never thought possible. It means that we go to sleep each night knowing that our talents and unique abilities were used in a way to bless others.
Being a tool on His tool belt means that we are never alone or expected to do things on our own. If you do all that you can with the talents and abilities God has given you and pray for help and guidance, He will reach out and take you by the hand. He will use you. If you give your heart to Him and allow yourself to be led, He will use you. He will use you in ways you can't even imagine right now. And He will bless you in ways you can't even imagine right now.
Since the beginning of time, God has used average people like you and me to do His work. He doesn't need you to be mighty, brilliant, fashionable, eloquent, or wealthy. He only needs you to allow yourself to be used. No tool on God's tool belt is ever forgotten and each has a use. Choose to be useful to Him instead of hiding behind a washing machine!
Be a tool. Not in the worldly way, but in God's way.