You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. John 15:16 (NIV).
In 1962, in Matlock, Derbyshire, a little girl of thirteen months was badly scalded with boiling water when the contents of a hot water bottle were inadvertently spilt on her. The baby was rushed to intensive care with third degree burns to her neck, shoulders and back. The prognosis was grim. Then, in addition to the burns the little girl came down with hyper static pneumonia and her temperature went sky high. The situation was now critical, there was nothing the medical staff could do, and the doctor had the difficult task of telling the parents their baby would probably die.
Naturally the parents were distraught and the father, a minister, decided to get into his car and drive to a quiet place to pray. It was a misty evening but he nonetheless found his way up the narrow lane to Masson Hill.
Sitting in the car, he was peering into the inky gloom when the mist parted to reveal the town below. It was an epiphany moment. It seemed as if the Lord was saying, “You’re concerned about one little girl who will die and go to heaven to be with me but you’ve got no concern for the countless people in Matlock who will die and go to a lost eternity.” He knew it was true. In the midst of his despair God was calling on him to dedicate his potential to the cause of Christ. And so he did just that. With a broken spirit he prayed, “Lord you can have my little girl. Whether she lives or dies she’s Yours. I’m prepared to commit myself to whatever you want me to do.”
When he arrived home, things had deteriorated. His daughter was now tottering on the brink of death and it was doubtful she’d make it through the night. But the following morning there was a dramatic reversal and the doctor phoned to say that it looked as though the baby might just pull through.
The baby survived, and the father, not forgetting his dedication to the cause of Christ, went on to establish Project International and lead thousands of people to the Lord as an itinerant evangelist.
And the little girl? Well I’m privileged to share my life with her as my wife.
Yes, times of disappointment or despair are often opportunities to dedicate your potential to God. So dedicate your potential to God. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10 (ESV).