February 28

Written by Bill Grandi on February 28th, 2023

Piggybacking on yesterday’s thought-that we all have something to contribute-I’d like to further the discussion with this:

I recently read the story of Jack who knew how to put trains on the right track. In nine years of work, he never missed a track switch as locomotives drew near the Uitenhage, South Africa, station, indicating by their whistles the direction they were going.

Did I  tell you Jack was a chacma baboon? He was cared for by railway signalman James Wide, and Jack in turn took care of James. James had lost both his legs when he fell between moving rail cars. He trained Jack to help him at home, and soon Jack assisted him at work. Jack learned how to respond to incoming trains’ signals by pulling the switch for their tracks.  (Source: Our Daily Bread)

That is an amazing story, and while it lends itself to some snarky comments about people, it also leads us into how God can use anyone and anything, especially if He can use an animal. How can anyone who reads the Bible forget how God used a donkey to speak to Balaam? (See the story in Numbers 22). Disney wasn’t the first to use talking animals to teach a lesson! 🙂

The truth is God can use anyone, even anything, to get His point across. Think for a moment: If God can use a baboon or a donkey to help others or to get His point across, just imagine how He can use you or me to get His message out.  And going on that: just imagine how He can use us to influence, even change, a person’s life.

It goes back to that old saying: “God is not so much interested in our ability, but in our availability.”  How might He use you today? Whose life can you make better today? Who can you help today? Will you be available?


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    I struggle with the idea of “being available”. When my kids were younger and at home, I spent much of my time with them. As they have grown, I have found that inactivity tends to lead to laziness and boredom. Neither of which are good.

    Now, the pendulum seems to swing in extremes. On one hand I tend to over commit (at least in my mind), leaving little room for simply being available… or…
    I attempt to shed myself of “scheduled” expectations to allow room for the unknown opportunities.

    This past weekend I had the opportunity to help an older friend that uses wood for their primary heating. He has been dealing with some medical issues that leaves him without much energy. We spent several hours cutting firewood, using a wood splitter, and stacking…

    I am trying to find that right balance of being available without allowing so much free time that I slip back into just being.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You do bring up a real issue Ryan, that of over-commitment. In an attempt to be available to people, we do tend to think, “If I don’t help this person what is that saying about me?” finding and striking that balance is a rough road to navigate. I’m glad you are seeking to find that balance. You will do it.

    • Kari Scare says:

      Ryan ~ I definitely understand the struggle with balance regarding availability. I’ve gone from too busy to not busy enough, and I don’t like either. I also struggle with most of my friends and family not being available for my availability. I’ve been praying lots about this, actually, and trying to trust God more with this balance. It’s a real struggle at times.

      • Bill Grandi says:

        Thanks for the encouraging response to Ryan. That balance thing…is a real struggle.

  2. gail says:

    One area of my discipleship that definitely needs to improve is my evangelism. I’m good if someone comes up and ask me about God, or if someone initiates a conversation about religion and I can state my beliefs and why. However just to walk up to people I do not know and initiate the conversation myself, I’m terrible at that. I miss a lot of opportunities that God needs to use me to build His kingdom. I do want to improve, and work on that so much. But as James says be a doer of the word, and put it into action.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      i would venture to say you don’t stand alone in that Gail. Even the most seasoned pastors have difficulty, i.e. me. It is an art to initiate a conversation without being “put off.” All I know to say it to keep praying for God to use you and to open doors for you.

    • Kari Scare says:

      Gail ~ I just heard a John Piper testimony about his struggle with evangelism early in his ministry, and it really encouraged me. The gist of his point was to pray about opportunities and let God handle how it plays out. I’m trying to trust him more in this area too and to not be so hard on myself.

  3. This is an amazing story, Bill, and one from which each of us who “think” we have nothing to offer when it comes to serving God can learn a powerful lesson here. God can use everyone and everything. There is no limit to what He can do; we’re the ones who impose the limits.