By Miriam Drennan
The vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. ~ Jeremiah 18:4
When immersed in seawater, coconuts can survive for several months. Having dropped from the tree, they drift until they are planted or picked up. Not only does a coconut survive this way, it also survives society’s whims. In the 1960s, the coconut was shunned for its fat content. Now, especially with the ramped-up use of coconut water, it’s glamorized for its health benefits. Supposedly, about one hundred products can be made from the coconut; every bit of it can be used. So can we. By God Himself.
Like the coconut, we can drift for a while, but eventually we need to be planted and used. And the Lord can make and remake us over and over again to fit His purposes. Our minds, our hearts, our talents, our physical abilities, even our limitations—He can use them all—to make an impact on this world by bringing clean water to poor countries. God can use us as a friendly face behind a cash register. Or a trusted friend to a teenager. Or a loving home to a stray dog. Or a neighbor who is willing to collect the neighborhood recycling. Or an unexpected meal delivered to a shelter. Or wise counsel to keep an innocent man from going to prison. Or researching a cure for a deadly disease. Or the person who quietly works late to help another meet a deadline. None of these actions is insignificant when prompted by Him.
So, whether you’re in a grocery store or on a tropical beach, pick up a coconut and examine it. Consider the many wonders and possibilities contained within—the medicinal properties, the building and landscaping possibilities, even something deliciously fun, like fresh coconut cake. Coconuts are not as pretty or as colorful as, say, the strawberry or lemon, but when shed of its outer core, this hairy, brown fruit can impact millions of lives.
Think about your own talents and abilities and what you’d like to do with them. Then ask God to align your own desires to match His. Ask Him to use every bit of you to accomplish His work. It may be that you smile at strangers or that you reread that report for any overlooked errors, even though you’ve already read it a million times. Perhaps it’s an extra hug for your third child for reasons you cannot explain. Be open to change and flexible enough to be reused and reshaped. The steps may be small or large—but the impact may reverberate for generations.
Lord, I have been drifting in survival mode; I’m ready to be planted. If a single coconut can impact so many, what will You have me do? My heart, mind, and body long to be shaped according to Your purposes, and reshaped as often as needed. Grant me grace to accept if I am to impact only one. It will still make a difference to the life of that person, plant, or animal.
Excerpted from Devotions for the Beach by Miriam Drennan. Thomas Nelson ©2012. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc. www.thomasnelson.com.
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Miriam Drennan is a freelance writer and, by God's grace and providence, works in print, broadcast, and web. When she's not putting words together, you'll usually find her at the dog park with her pups, Sophie and Chance. Visit her at www.that-writer.com.
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