Author: Jerolyn Kelley

If you ever sail through the New Zealand fjords, you may pass through Dusky Sound and see a small island called Useless Island.

What a name!  Why would an island be given such a name?  The answer lies with the British Captain James Cook who discovered this island but couldn’t land there, so he classed it as useless.  If you weren’t informed about the background of this name, you would never know why it was called “useless” as it blends in with the other stunning beauty of Dusky Sound.

My spirit is convicted lest I ever be labelled as a “Useless Island”.  I may blend in and not be obvious.  I may look the part of a committed church member.  I may not stand out to the naïve as being of no spiritual value to the Body of Christ.  However, God and most probably my leaders know if I am of value or if I am spiritually “useless”.

I don’t want to just skimp into heaven by the skin of my teeth, so to speak.  My desire is to be very useful to the Kingdom of God during my sojourn on earth.

Can I give a word of encouragement to those in the later years of life?  Sometimes folks can begin to feel useless due to physical limitations.  Age tends to slow us down, albeit not of our own choosing.  Let me stress to you that you are still very useful to God’s Kingdom—not useless.

Some of the most productive of our approximately 150 AIMers have been senior citizens.  They may not have the full energy and good health of their younger years, but they still have much to offer the work of the Lord.  We’ve had them cook, teach, preach, help with hospitality, clean, do carpentry and maintenance work, paint, pastor and a myriad of other ministries not the least of which has been to be a Godly example of longevity in living for God.  Often senior citizens have much more time to devote to prayer than their younger counterparts and can be credited with very effective prayer ministries.

None of us can afford to be a useless island set off by ourselves when it comes to world missions.  The Great Commission is a commandment to all.  In one way or another you can be useful.

GIVE—All of us can and should give to missions financially, even if it’s only a penny.

PRAY—No one is excused from prayer.

GO—Some will be called to go, whether it be for a few months or a lifetime.

Wherever you are, be one that is known for being useful, not useless.  All of us have a purpose and an essential part to play in God’s kingdom.  My prayer is that as long as I have breath in my body I will be useful.

I get this honestly.  At ninety years of age, my dear mother asked me what I thought God wanted her to do with her life.  I had to chuckle to myself as I told her to just stay faithful to the Lord and not get bitter over the disappointments and challenges that had come her way late in life.  What an example she gave to her family until the day the Lord took her from us.

As you leave Dusky Sound, you pass by Disappointment Cove.  It’s a place the early explorers thought to be a safe harbour, but alas, it was not.

May my life never be classed as “disappointment cove” in God’s Kingdom.  I don’t want to disappoint God, my family, my friends, my church or the worldwide Body of Christ.  I want to be a “safe harbour” for those God has called me to mentor and minister to.

Each of us has the opportunity, one way or another, to make an impact and be useful.

You and I can GIVE.

You and I can PRAY and perhaps

You and I can GO.

Never let your life be labelled as “Useless Island” or “Disappointment Cove”.  Another New Zealand Fjord is named Doubtful Sound because Captain Cook thought it couldn’t be navigated.  He was incorrect and never ventured into this spectacular fjord because he doubted.

Don’t ever doubt what God can accomplish through your life.  Let us all take every opportunity possible to be a world changer—one life at a time.  Our little is much when God is in it!