I remember a season in my life where I felt as if I had been put up on a shelf. I felt like God had gotten all of the use out of me that He had wanted and now I had been placed up on a shelf to collect dust.
Prior to becoming a new mom I had been serving in youth ministry, it was a ministry I had become accustomed to and really felt like it was something I was good at. I felt like I was doing what I was purposed to do. Although, due to my husbands new job (which required a move) I would no longer be a part of that youth ministry. Yes, I knew my “new” ministry was to be a mom, which is a great ministry, but I had a hard time with this life transition. This new ministry was scary and unfamiliar and most days I felt like I was doing a poor job at it. During that time I began to believe two lies: I had more worth in the “old” ministry I was involved in verses this “new” ministry I was now in, and that God was done using me and I would be “just” a mom (don’t worry I know better now).
God has blessed me with some older bother’s and sister’s in Christ that are dear to my heart. Recently I have seen a similar struggle going on with them. They have served God faithfully in a certain ministry for the majority of their lives and now life’s circumstances have caused them to leave that ministry they were accustomed to. They seem to be tempted to believe the same lies I did, that God is done using them and that they were worth more in their old ministry. Instead of seeing themselves growing brighter and brighter like Proverbs 4:18 says, they seem to feel like they have already sparkled and now they are fading. I get the feeling that they too feel like they have been shelved or maybe they have faded out.
The truth is, none of us get shelved and none of us fade out.
Your worth in Christ is not determined by what you do. Your worth is in knowing Christ and knowing who you are in Him.
Paul, the writer of Philippians even said, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,”
For too many years I banked my worth on how well I did the old ministry. Not only did God have something new for me but He wanted to teach me where my worth came from. I felt shelved because I was resisting what He was trying to do in my life. By stepping into this new ministry I could no longer rely on my old strengths and talents, I would have to rely upon God to equip me for what He had called me to do. By doing so, I found that my worth came from knowing Christ. I could be involved in the greatest ministry, doing so much, for so many, but compared to knowing God, it is nothing.
God is good, and He desires for us to grow into the people He created us to be. In order for us to grow, there has to be changes. We are all being transformed from glory to glory, and transformation means we will not stay the same. Things are going to change. For some of us, changes are scary or unfamiliar, for others, changes are uncomfortable, and for some, changes are a new adventure.
I believe that if we feel like we have been put on a shelf or have faded out, it is because we put ourselves there. We disqualify ourselves because we are unwilling to be changed to the next glory. We become like that piece of clay in the potters hand telling the potter that He’s doing His job wrong.
So to my older and wiser brothers and sisters who are tempted to believe that they have “faded out,” and to the ones who feel like they have been shelved, God’s not done with you! Don’t disqualify yourself for a second believing that God no longer has a purpose for you or that you are no longer of any value to Him. You are precious to Him and your worth is found in knowing who God is and what He says about you.
Whatever the next glory is that God is transforming you into, don’t be scared of the unfamiliar. Trust Him and yield to His plans, you won’t regret it.