Monday, March 24, 2014

Being Shelved

Sometimes God speaks to me through Disney movies.

Just recently, He reminded me of Toy Story 2.

In Toy Story 2, Woody's (the cowboy doll) arm gets torn and he is placed up on the top shelf instead of getting to go with his owner, Andy, to cowboy camp.  Woody had been "shelved".  He wondered what his owner was doing.  He wondered why Andy didn't take him to camp.

Didn't Andy love him anymore?  
Didn't Andy want him to go with him?  
Why did Andy leave him seemingly abandoned on the top shelf?
Does he think I am unworthy to play with because I am broken? 

All of these questions possibly filled Woody's mind.  However, the truth was that Andy lovingly left Woody on the shelf because he was in need of repair.  It was because Andy loved Woody that he left him on the shelf until the proper mending could be completed.

God brought this to my mind because there have been seasons in my life where I have felt like God put me on a shelf.  During these seasons, I didn't feel like I was being used by God or going anywhere with my "Owner".  I felt like I was just collecting dust and waiting.  During the times I was "shelved", I wondered what God was doing.

Like Woody, I thought that perhaps I was unworthy to be used by God.  I questioned if God wanted to use me.  I mean, after all, He has plenty of other people He can use for His glory.  Perhaps I was just too broken and too much of a mess to be useful.

None of the above were true.  However, God knew I needed repair.  He knew that if I came down from the shelf too soon that it wouldn't be good for me.  He had some mending He needed to do first.

God does use the broken.  Otherwise, no one would be used by God.  We all are broken vessels held firmly together only by the bonds of His love and grace.  However, sometimes we have to get to a certain place of healing.  God keeps us safely placed in His loving care preparing us for His purpose, mending us stitch by stitch until we are ready.  He doesn't want our arm to fall off!

If you have been feeling like God has put you on a shelf and has forgotten about you, I want to encourage you today.  He knows exactly where you are.  He is waiting.  He is healing.  He is preparing you for His good purpose.  Let Him mend.  Let Him sew.  Let Him perfect everything that concerns you.  He won't keep you on the shelf for long.  He needs you.  Your Owner desperately desires to take you where He is going.  He knows you are broken and He loves you anyway.  You are irreplaceable to Him.  You are His treasure and He will hold you and care for you and never let you go.

Power Verses:

"The Lord will perfect all things concerning me."  Psalm 138:8

"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."  Phil 1:6 

Reflection Questions (I'd love to hear your comments below!) :)  

1.  Do you feel like you have been "shelved"?

2.  Have you ever felt like God put you on a shelf for a season?  Looking back, can you see His purpose in it?

3.  Do you feel too broken to be used by God?  How does this post encourage you today?


  1. Can God shelve a person who is saved - permanently?

  2. Hi Trey, thank you for the question. I think the answer is up to the person. There are plenty of examples in the Bible of people who were shelved permanently due to their unwillingness to listen to the Lord and obey Him. I don't think for one instance that God desires anyone to stay on the shelf. He wants to be able to use us, but it is hard to use what refuses to change and stubbornly goes his or her own way. King Saul is an example that comes to mind. However, if one has a heart that is willing to be molded and changed and surrendered, then by all means, that person will not remain on the shelf for long. The shelf is not a punishment, it is a preparation place for greater Kingdom purposes. I hope that explanation helps. I reread my post and I don't think I in anyway indicated that God won't use people who have been shelved. In fact, quite the contrary. A broken and contrite spirit He will not despise. Blessings to you.


I heart your comments!