I don't know about you, but I sometimes wonder just what I am doing with my life. Sometimes finding a meaning and a purpose is difficult, isn't it? Part of that is because we wonder just how God could use us for anything as we struggle to find our gifts or talents. Sometimes we may even feel that we just aren't cut out for being a Christian because we can't seem to get our relationship with God straightened out.

When (and if) you feel that way, it's been my experience that what really helps is to try and remember that God is able to make use of us even if we can't understand how. God can use us in spite of our "short-comings" real or imagined.

Now what brings on this particular thought is the story of the talking donkey found in  Numbers 22. This story is about a prophet named Balaam. It seems that a king who wanted to defeat the nation of Israel sent to this prophet and asked him to place a curse upon the Israelites. He consulted God and God said, "No way!" So he basically told the King, "Sorry, as much as I might like to help you, God says, 'No!'" Well the king wouldn't give up and sent messengers with a LOT of money several times to Balaam with the same request. Balaam went to God each time and asked him about it. (I think the money may have had something to do with it.) Finally, God said, "Fine! I've had enough, go on and go with them." Only God didn't want him to go, so as he was riding his donkey to go and see the king, God placed an invisible angel in the path with a sword to kill Balaam.

Now, Balaam couldn't see the angel, but the donkey could. So the donkey turned off into a field. So Balaam beat on the donkey until she got back on the path. A little further down, the path had stone walls on both sides. The angel appeared again. Once again the donkey shied away and mashed Balaam's foot against the wall. So Balaam beat her some more and got her started again. Just a short way farther down the path, the angel appeared again and the donkey just collapsed this time. The donkey then laid down under Balaam and refused to go any farther. In a fit of rage, Balaam really began to beat the donkey. Then the most amazing thing happened.

"Then the LORD caused the donkey to speak. "What have I done to you that deserves your beating me these three times?" it asked Balaam. "Because you have made me look like a fool!" Balaam shouted. "If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!" "But I am the same donkey you always ride on," the donkey answered. "Have I ever done anything like this before?" "No," he admitted. Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam fell face down on the ground before him." (Numbers 22:28-31)

I figure that's why he lets me keep on braying.
It is just amazing to me that Balaam carried on a conversation with the donkey, but he was so angry that he didn't stop to think it unusual that the donkey was talking! Well, to say the least, Balaam has a change of heart and did what God told him to do.

So if God can use a donkey to get his message across to someone then, he can you use you and me to do the same. I figure that's why he lets me keep on braying — in hopes that I'll get the right words to the right people some time. If you are struggling to find some special talent, maybe you are looking too hard. God can use the little things, the little abilities, the little gifts .... He can use your quiet words just as well as he can use the big flashy ones of someone else. If God could use a donkey to save a man from disaster, just imagine what he can do through you!