While visiting my mother at the nursing home recently, I observed many elderly residents who were either in wheel chairs or bedridden. The ones who were ambulatory were very frail and weak, barely able to get around. As I watched them, I realized that even though they were in poor physical condition, many of them still wanted to maintain as much of their independence as possible...my mother included.
My mother is among the bedridden residents and without someone in the room to help her, she is often unable to reach things she needs. While we were visiting, we could easily hand her things as she asked for them, but what would she do when we were gone? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that we had to find a solution.
Later that day, when I was home cooking dinner, I heard a commercial on TV for a new product called a Grabber. I listened intently as the announcer explained the usefulness of this remarkable new tool. It could help reach things up high or down low. It had suction cup grips and while it looked very unattractive with its oddly shaped metal, it seemed to be a handy gadget. I made a mental note to find out where to buy one.
The next day I was out doing some shopping. As I rounded the corner, something caught my eye. I saw one of those grabbing tools they'd advertised in the commercial! It was marked with huge red letters across the top "AS SEEN ON TV" so I knew it was the one they'd been talking about. I took it down from the display and tried it out. I tried to reach something that was on a higher shelf...the suction cups worked quite well when the metal arms were extended outward. I took a box and placed it on the floor beside my feet and then tried the tool again. It took a few minutes to grasp and pick up the box, but it was do-able. Neat! This might be a worthwhile investment.
At the register, the cashier rang up my purchases and gave me a strange look when she came to the grabber tool. "It's for my Mom," I explained, as an embarrassed blush spread across my face. "Yes, many elderly come in to buy these," the cashier responded.
On our next visit to the nursing home, I presented my mother with the grabber tool. I showed her how to use it to reach things she needed. She tried it several times and was quite pleased with it. This inexpensive tool was going to afford her a little more independence. As I watched her using the tool, I thought about how God uses us.
Often times, I think God has to mold and shape us into useful tools that He can use. He may take hurt, bitterness, or pride and use those to shave off areas in our lives that need to be refined. He may use challenging circumstances to mold is into more caring and loving tools of His mercy. Whatever He designs us to do, He will bend and twist and shape us into the perfect vessel...one that's able to accomplish His purpose and His plan. What a joyful thought to realize that we are chosen tools of God and we are perfectly suited for His use.
"In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay: some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanse himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work."
2 Timothy 2:20-21
Even a Grabber can be a noble tool when placed in the Master's hand. Noble is defined as "grand, splendid, magnificent; having greatness of character and excellent qualities." Wouldn't it be a joy to be one of God's chosen vessels for noble use? I know my mother appreciated and now treasures this weird looking metal tool because she knows how helpful it is to her. It allows her to extend her withered and frail arms enough to reach things that fall out of the bed onto the floor. Having just the right tool for just the right job makes a huge difference! What will you allow God to use you for today? Will you allow Him to mold and bend and shape you in a vessel for noble use? It might be fun to see what He'll use your willing heart to do in the lives of others!