“Stretched” for Service
One last thought about the idea of living a purposeful life. Most of us like to be comfortable. Most of us like to avoid tension and conflict. Most of us don’t like to be “stretched”. But I think the Bible and human experience shows us that we are most useful when we are stretched.
Think of yourself as a rubber band. A rubber band is not very useful unless it is stretched. Only when it is stretched can it be used to hold things together. Though I doubt you are very flattered by the comparison with a rubber band, there is a significant similarity. All of us are most useful when we are stretched. Being stretched means that we are involved in the lives of people. Being stretched means that we are involved in meeting needs and that we are often involved in the “mess” of working with people. Though we all want to be comfortable and it is our natural inclination to avoid conflict and tension; following Jesus puts us in those kinds of positions. Think of all the tension and conflict that Jesus found Himself involved in…and none of it was because of His sin. He was in tension and conflict because He was involved in the lives of people.
Don’t run away from “stretching”. Rather, embrace it. Embrace God’s activity in your life as you are stretched for His glory and purpose. He won’t stretch you to the point where you are broken. He will never do that. God will stretch you to the point where you think you are about to break, but He won’t “break” you. Rather, He will stretch you to the point where you are most useful.