Sweet friendship ended when the secret sin came to light. The deception shocked me. My heart shattered. Most confusing though was trying to comprehend how God could have used her for good in my life. It made no sense to me. While trying to process the whole unexpected turn of events, I asked a person I deeply trusted my main burning question, “How could God have used her in my life?”
Without even the slightest hesitation, this wise person looked me straight in the eyes and said, “God uses talking donkeys.”
The statement took me by surprise yet rang completely true. It was a lightbulb moment for me as I reflected that the God of the Bible uses talking donkeys when needed, so, of course, He can use any human being He chooses.
God used David, who committed adultery and murder, to establish the everlasting perfect kingdom of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1).
God used Solomon, who worshipped numerous false gods, to pen Scripture that reveals to us the one, true God (I Kings 11:1-10; Proverbs 1:1).
God used Judas, the infamous betrayer, to preach, to heal, and to cast out demons (Mark 3:13-19, Matthew 1:1-4).
God used Peter, who denied three times even knowing the Head of the church, to build that same church (Matthew 16:18, Luke 22:55-62).
God uses imperfect vessels to accomplish His perfect will.
I have found it helpful to categorize people once close to me but now out of my life for negative reasons as “talking donkeys.” The label is not meant to be an insult but to help me accept the sad end of the relationship while also still acknowledging the indestructible good God produced in my life through them. I take my focus off the imperfect vessel and focus on what God did through them.
The encouragement from my friend did strengthen me and help me persevere through intense trials. Solomon’s writings are blessing us today. David had a descendant by the wife of the man he murdered who is saving us from sin. The people who heard and received the gospel from Judas’s lips are in Heaven right this moment. Mind blowing! God is more than able to produce indestructible good through any vessel He chooses.
In my current relationships, where once my vision tended to stop on the visible vessel, I now more easily see God working through that person to bless me. The smile in passing that warms my heart was actually a kindness from God. The word that strengthens my fainting heart was encouragement from God. The vessel is not my rock. God is. Wandering in the rubble, I discovered a very comforting truth: “This I know, that God is for me.” Psalm 56:9b.