This morning I came across a very unfortunate young man who clearly still had a long way to go - literally and figuratively. He had just bought himself a snazzy road bike - one of those ultra lightweight ones with the very thin rims - and he was taking it for a test ride. He didn't ride too far before he started walking, pushing the bike along with a flat tire - shame. He was a long way from home. He didn't have a pump with him. Heaven knows, I've done my fair share of walking, but I really rather prefer riding, so I took pity on him and stopped to help. Despite my best intentions, my mountain bike pump didn't fit his road bike valve. He wasn't keen on patch and solution and my spare tire - green slime and all - wasn't of any help. Best I could do was point him in the direction of the nearest gas station. Hopefully he could inflate the tire there and ride home gas station to gas station.
Just then another gentleman came along and what do you know: he had the same kind of bike as the guy in distress. His bicycle pump fit perfectly and he even carried with him two spare tubes.
Does the fact that I couldn't help the man mean something is wrong with me (or my bike)? Did I do anything wrong? No. Sometimes you're just not the "tool for the job" and that's okay. When you need to hit a nail you use a hammer. You don't reach for the scissors - not even if it's the best scissors ever made. No, you use the instrument best suited to the job.
There had been times in my life when I had come across people who needed help. Despite my best efforts, advice, prayers, scripture searching and believing God till I was blue in the face I couldn't see any fruit of my labor. At times I had felt like a terrible Christian and a colossal failure. Other times I would feel like I barely lifted a finger and everything would come up roses. Does this make me a good Christian?
In time I learnt that it was not about me. It was not my work, therefore it was neither my success to brag about, nor my failure to mope about. In the end I stand - all of God's children do - in the service of the King of the universe. He has given us certain gifts and He had designed opportunities for us to honor Him in the earth. That is the purpose for our making a difference: so He may be glorified. Not so we may feel good about ourselves, or even better than the next guy. Our confidence shouldn't be in whether or not we impress the world with our good works, but in knowing that we are loved by God, unconditionally and beyond measure. This confidence should make us want others to know (and experience) His love too, therefore reaching out to share it with others, i.e. making good works an expression (a fruit) of our faith, rather than thinking it earns us a right position with God. We believe (in Christ) and therefore are saved by grace.
When you've done your best and feel like you've failed, just remember that sometimes you're simply not the "tool for the job" and that's okay. Keep trusting the Lord and stay willing to be of service. I know He will use you so He may be glorified.
Choose to have a heart that says, "Here I am, Lord. Send me."