As I was crocheting with one of those short strands last month, I continued on too far and neglected to switch to the long yarn for the background. Realizing my mistake, I saw how the poor little piece had been used up, struggling to do more than its allotted task. It was trying to do a job meant for a much longer piece of yarn, a job it was never cut out to do. Suddenly, I felt a strange affinity for that tired little scrap.
In early February, a medical specialist confirmed what another physician had told me 8-9 years ago - that I likely have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which the medical community considers a "throw-away diagnosis." Doctors have said that they literally don't know what causes it or how to treat the syndrome, and so CFS is a label for the unknown. It's not even worth bothering to put it in my medical chart, they say, because it cannot help me get well. Due to this poorly understood condition and my significant limitations, I used to wonder what God could possibly do with me and my short supply of energy.
On days when I watched TV, I'd think to myself: "How am I serving God? I can't travel to foreign lands as a missionary. I can't even interact with people at a workplace." However, in spite of my isolation and throw-away diagnosis, the Bible assures me that I, myself, am never discarded as useless by God. My allotted jobs for the day, though not demanding, still have much value: an email sent to encourage a friend, a smile and hug for my mom or grandma, praying for someone going through troubled times, even resting in God's presence, worshiping him, and thinking about his Word rather than dwelling on fear and worry. These are good and pleasing tasks in the Lord's sight.
When my energy runs out quickly and I end up curling into a ball out of sheer fatigue, I have to remember that the short strands are ones the Maker saves with a tender heart to use for important tasks - ones that are vital to His end result. We who feel discouraged and useless need only submit to the Father's wise weaving. If we continue to offer our lives, determining to endure in faith, we will surely rejoice when we see His glorious work completed in and through us.
Paul the apostle wrote:
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18
To the casual observer, Paul’s ministry appeared to be over. After all, he was getting older and for the second time in his life, he was stuck in a Roman jail, unable to do what he’d done before. But God doesn’t count the value of our days as man does. In His eyes, a bedridden believer in a nursing home still has a purpose and a calling from Him. You can be sure that if you are breathing, the Lord still has plans for you. ~Dr. Charles StanleyFrom: Courage in the Lonely Hour