It feels wonderful to be needed. There is satisfaction in knowing that we make a difference to someone else. What power the words, “I need you” have. Those words have even more power when we consider that they also apply to God. Yes, God needing us. Not in the sense of God’s capacity to exist and function. Rather, we are needed by God to bring the Good News of his love to the world.
God has relied on human beings to communicate important messages to humanity throughout salvation history. This was the role of Amos and the other Old Testament prophets. God chose them to call people to accountability for their destructive and sinful actions. These were often messages the people did not want to hear. In the case of Amos, he was told by a priest of Bethal to leave the country and go prophesy somewhere else. Amos was not intimidated by such rebukes and stood his ground because he knew that God was relying on him (Amos 7:12-15). God needed him.
The awesome fact of God’s need for us is recounted in the Gospel as Jesus sends out the disciples two by two preaching a message of repentance (Mark 6:7-13) . In sending them, they are reminded they need very little (just a walking stick and some sandals). What they truly need is to rely on him, especially in the midst of the push back they surely will get from the people they are trying to help. He sent them two by two as a reminder that in addition to relying on him, they also needed each other for encouragement, support, comfort, forgiveness and healing.
A lot of people out there need us, too. An elderly person living alone and in need of a visit. A family in financial trouble, a friend who is wasting away on alcohol, a guilt ridden person who does not know God’s forgiveness, people who have no shelter or sustenance, those living on the margins of ridicule or misunderstanding. We are needed by people who need to know God loves them.
We need God. God needs us. Now that is a powerful combination.