My sisters are both retired nurses, having served the profession faithfully for over 40 years. They are kind, compassionate, brilliant women, and I esteem them highly. They assumed nurse manager roles as time went on in their careers, and among many other responsibilities, they interviewed and hired prospective employees to ensure a smooth-functioning healthcare facility.
One such interview was especially interesting, and without paraphrasing too much, the following conversation transpired. My sister—always the diplomat and professional--sat face-to-face with a woman applying for an office position. “What position are you interested in today?” she asked the applicant. “Seppatary,” the woman replied, “I’m here for the seppatary job.” Quickly discerning the woman was referring to the secretary position, more questions were asked regarding her qualifications, job experience, etc. Clearly, she was underqualified and had unrealistic confidence in her abilities as a “seppatary.” Still, an air of respect and dignity was communicated as my sister realized the applicant truly believed she was capable and would make an exemplary team member.
Kindness carried the interview to the end when tactfully and sweetly, my sister thanked the woman for her sincere interest in bettering the team, but employment was denied. Surely the woman’s confidence and determination would be appreciated in a more suitable position elsewhere. One had to admire her courage and confidence! My sister can see a silver lining and promise in almost everything, even a “seppatary” lady.
So does the Lord. He made us in His image and fully intends to use us to accomplish His work here and in the coming age. Many of us—most of us, really—come to Him as lowly “seppataries,” untrained, without experience, wet-behind-the-ears in the things of the Lord. But He sees through all that to the hope and promise we are in Christ Jesus. 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 NKJV).
We are God’s workmanship. The word means a source or product, a thing of His making--His handiwork. When I bake a cake, I know every single ingredient in it. Unless I forget an ingredient, the cake tastes exactly as it should. Father God knows exactly what ingredients are in each of us to fulfill His purposes and plans. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed (Psalm 139:13-16 NLT). He looks right through the “seppatary” limitations and disqualifications of our frail humanness and sees His marvelous workmanship waiting to be developed and used for His glory and Kingdom!
The Prophet Isaiah was painfully aware of what a sinful, unclean man he was as he stood in the Presence of the Lord. In Isaiah 6:5-7 (NLT), he records: Then I said, "It's all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven's Armies." Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, "See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven."
There was the confidence he needed! He was about to apply for the “seppatary” position, and the Lord was ready! The passage continues as the interview proceeded…Then I heard the Lord asking, "Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?" I said, "Here I am. Send me." He was an instant hire.
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). Friends, whatever you humbly apply for to further the Kingdom of God--be it a “seppatary,” pastor, teacher, youth worker, missionary—the Lord sees His handiwork shining through. You’re hired!
© 2023, Chris Custer Werre