Embracing God’s Gifts

Tomorrow is my son’s birthday.  Perhaps that’s why tonight I’m thinking about gifts.  Perhaps I’m thinking about gifts because a friend told me today that mine was wisdom.  I don’t know if that’s really my gift.  I know I have the blessing of listening to friends and family.  It’s impossible to know if one is wise.  How can one judge herself as wise?  Isn’t the very act of judging yourself wise rather unwise?  I think it is.  I’m still learning.  We are ALL still learning how to travel our path that God has given us.

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I find myself believing most are unaware of the gifts that God has given them.  Creativity  is an obvious gift, and those that have that gift seem to use it almost unconsciously.  My mother has the gift of hosting, and is perfectly comfortable with having enormous numbers of people in her home.  That is definitely not my gift, although I do enjoy smaller groups.  I used to make excuses why I couldn’t do as He asked.  We all do.  Even back in biblical days.  The bible is full of us giving God reasons NOT to do something.  God’s people make a lot of excuses why they can’t use their gifts:

“I really enjoy having people over, but my home is way too small to actually invite my Sunday School group.”

“I love to garden, but I’m sure the church has people that can do that job much better than I can.”

“I’d love to teach, but those kids get so wild and crazy…”

Mine was:

“I’d love to teach, but I can’t imagine actually getting up in front of all those people.  Besides, who would listen to me anyway?”

In my defense, it was a legitimate complaint.  In school, every time I had to get in front of the class I would get so nervous and anxious that I would go to the bathroom and cry and throw up afterward.  It was horrible.  I actually got out of having to sign a song in my college sign language class because the professor could tell I was a wreck.  The only time I successfully spoke publicly was in an 8th grade english class.  Oral book report.  I chose a biography of Adolf Hitler and I was still a wreck before I started.  Once I started though, something magical happened.  I got so into conveying the interesting and complex background that I forgot I was in front of the class.

I guess that’s what is happening now.  I’m leading a ladies’ bible study.  Granted, I know all the ladies but one and they are all wonderful.  Still, the same thing happens to me there that happened during my Adolf Hitler book report.  I’m so fascinated and into the subject matter that I forget to be nervous.  And we have a few stunned silences, which I figure either means I said something that they never thought of or they didn’t understand a THING I just said.  LOL  God seems to whisper in my ear, at times.  Sound crazy?  But I just start thinking and meditating and He leads me to answers in scripture.  I learn something almost every day.

So, do I have a gift?  I don’t know.  I do know that I had to make myself available.  I had to make that move.  I walked up to my pastor and said the words pastors everywhere LOVE to hear:  I’m available.  I’m willing.  I’m being led.  Use me wherever you need me.

Stop the voice in your head telling you that you can’t.

Stop making excuses.

Stop thinking someone else will volunteer.  He laying it on YOUR heart for a reason.  Allow Him to change your life.  Allow Him to change your circumstances.  It’s YOUR gift.  Use it. Bless others and you, in turn, will be blessed.

Becky

 

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