"For to this you were called, because Christ
also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His
steps." (1 Peter 2:21)
We have all experienced them. Some of you may be like me, and you own one; but anyone else would have at least seen them on the road: that little (or sometimes big!) vehicle that is towed behind cars, trucks, tractors, bicycles and motorcycles, and sometimes even towed by hand: the trailer!
Trailers are for many purposes. The one we own is an ancient tent-trailer, and we use it as an inexpensive alternative to staying in hotels when we travel. Without this little vehicle, we would not be able to travel as extensively as we do. But it has also served us other purposes. I remember once hauling a mattress home tied to the top of the trailer. Another time we stuffed it with goods bound for my son's "home away from home" at university. Trailers are also used for hauling goods for long (or short!) distances, and sometimes they are even used as cook wagons, portable libraries, and even portable hospitals!
If you think about it, however, though they are very useful, the trailer really doesn't have much personality. It spends its time following whatever vehicle is towing it. It has no ability to make decisions about where it is going, or even if it is to be left behind. It is completely at the mercy of the tow vehicle. The tow vehicle, on the other hand, has all the power, and if you were to ask me if I would rather be a trailer or a tow vehicle, I would more than likely say, "The tow vehicle!"
As I was towing our travel trailer on our recent trip to upstate Michigan, I couldn't get the thought of the trailer out of my mind. I realized that God was trying to communicate to me through the little white pop-up camper hitched to our van. His message? We were created to be trailers!
What? But I want to be a "tow vehicle," not a "trailer!"
One of the many sin-caused human problems is that we all want to be the "tow vehicle." We want to make all the decisions. We want to be in control. We want to dictate when we go and when we stop.
The book of Ezekiel gives us a vivid image of a creature that is totally devoted to the will of God. It has wheels for moving in every direction, and eyes on the wheels. The Bible tells us this creature moves when the Spirit of God wills it to move, stops when God's Spirit tells it to stop, and always goes in the direction the Spirit dictates (See Ezekiel 1). This creature is a true trailer, and God is its "tow vehicle."
As I contemplated this, I realized that our trailer is indeed, very useful...But only when it is functioning inside the will of the tow vehicle. When it follows along, I barely even notice it is there. When we don’t wish to have an extra "appendage," we leave it behind in a campground until we need it, and when we need it, it provides us with shelter from the rain, a comfortable place to eat and sleep, a real haven in a storm (of which our poor pop-up has seen plenty!).
Could it be that my usefulness to God is directly proportional to how much I am willing to be a "trailer?" That it is only when I am willing to go when and where He leads that I can be His hands and feet? That it is in "staying behind in the campground" that I can provide shelter to those who are hurting? A comforting haven in their times of storm?
Think about it!
Lord, may we be happy to be a trailer. May we move only when and where You "tow" us, and only in the direction that You dictate. May we be content to simply “sit” when that is Your will for us. Use us as often and in whatever way You need us, but help us to stop trying to be the "tow vehicle!"
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.