Feeling Used Up
I have worn the same hat since 5th grade. That means that this thing that, I wear at least 5 days out of the week, is over 11 years old. The hat started out as a dark gray with an almost blue tint to it. It has an elk and it says the words, “Speak the language,” on the brim. Now the hat is a very light gray. There are sweat stains around the entire thing. There is a rip on the brim that goes from one side to the other showing the stiff white material beneath it.
The rip was from a time that I washed it about two years ago. I had worn it when I had mowed which was a big mistake because by the end of it, it was covered in dust. So, I did the only thing I could; I tossed it into the washing machine. By the time it was done, and I pulled it out, there was the rip. At first, I was upset of course. So much so that I put it on the rack next to another hat that I had retired (one of which when my dog Rocky was a pup chewed up). And it sat there.
For weeks, I spend hours looking on every website looking for a new hat that would replace this one. I bought a few, but none of them felt right. I even tried to find the same exact one on the internet and had no such luck. Then there was a day that I was going to need a hat. It was a hot day and I was going to be working outside all morning and afternoon and there was no way that I was going to be able to do what I needed to get done without something to shield my eyes from the sun, and I am very much not a sunglasses person. So I grabbed my hat off the retirement rack, and went to work.
Since then, it has not been put back on that shelf. The stains have increased, the rip has gotten bigger, and now there is ever a darker stain on the inside of the brim that I have no idea where it came from or what it is. This hat has become a part of my daily life, something that I cherish and would be crushed if I lost or if it was destroyed. Even though it is tattered and not what it used to be, it can still be used for it’s intended purpose.
There are many times when I feel like this hat. Where I feel like I am just so worn down or so full of mistakes and guilt and unworthy to be used by God. I am sure that at one point or another you have felt this way too. We are all human and fall short of the glory of God. But the amazing thing is that no matter how broken, old, tired, or even unworthy we are, God can still use us for our intended purpose.
John 14: 12 says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.”
Christ can use you! Do not be afraid to listen to his voice and his word. Obey what he has commanded and love him and others as he loves you, even when you are tattered and stained. You are unique and loved by God.
With only love,
Intern Pastor Jc