When I talk to women about their gifts and talents, I hear many say they have no idea what they are good at. And even if they do know, they are not sure how to use their gift. If this is true then what does this say for the through process?
My dear friend, the one I spoke of earlier in the series, who is taking care of her elderly mother, struggles with this. She feels so wrapped up in her service to her mother that she says she cannot identify one gift in her life. This isn’t an abnormal way of thinking. Why? Because we have been fed a jaded perspective of our talents.
If people aren’t musicians, writers, or artists of some kind then they have trouble identifying their gifts. I think it is because as a society we’ve been trained to notice and admire stardom.
We turn on the radio and identify the voices we hear with God-given gifts – so much so that even local musicians who haven’t made it to that level (and may never) think their gifts aren’t good enough, just because they can’t attain a similar status. We turn on the television to see actors, models, and entertainment hosts who are beautiful, and we automatically think that our pretty faces will never be pretty enough, or that our ability to speak and present in front of an audience will never be worth enough if we don’t end up where those people are. This type of mentality is spoiling our gifts and the through processes associated with them.
We are all called to be “stars” for the kingdom. Not all of us will be the worldly definition of a “star.” And it doesn’t make our callings any less valuable.
You do have a gift and I have no doubt you use it regularly!
A few years ago, my husband and I took the kids on a cross country trip to California to see their grandparents. A couple weeks later we arrived home just before midnight on a Saturday. We had church responsibilities early the next morning and zero groceries in our house. We were forced to take the kids through a drive-thru for breakfast on the way to church and then out to lunch after. We were exhausted and couldn’t even bring ourselves to entertain the idea of the grocery store yet. That morning at church, my friend who says she doesn’t have gifts thought to ask me if I had groceries in my house. I told her no, but that I would eventually get to the store. We switched conversation topics and I never thought another thing of it. A few hours later my doorbell rang. There stood the same friend with a giant cooler full of eggs, milk, bread, fruit, vegetables, and snacks to tide us over until I felt energized enough to go shopping. And she says she doesn’t have a gift?! Well, she does. She is a servant and Jesus worked through her life that day. I’m still touched by it!
Just because we aren’t on stage and receiving critical acclaim for our gifts doesn’t mean we don’t have them. It doesn’t mean God won’t use us! Each of us has abilities, and though some go unrecognized, it just might be because we are too humble to see them. Humility is a wonderful thing as long as you recognize your worth in Christ. If you are willing and able, Christ will use you.
Despite whether my friend sees it, she has a servant’s heart far above most people I know. She might not be pouring blood, sweat, and tears into an HIV camp in a third world country, but that in no way reduces the ability for Christ to work through her life to touch others in a mighty way. She – and women everywhere just like her – must know she has worth because Christ is worthy. And her life and gifts are not small.
If there is anything I want to do through this series and throughout my life, it is to give hope. If we don’t have hope, then no matter what we do or how talented we are, we will still feel a hollowing out of our souls. Without finding fulfillment in Christ we will end up empty. Emptiness brings about a lonely feeling, and loneliness will break us.
If you are going to be broken, let it be for the cause of Christ and not for what the enemy wants to whisper to you. Those awful whispers are nothing more than tactics to stop you from thriving in all Jesus has for your life!
Even those of us who know what gifts we have still struggle to overcome inadequacies. I was once the queen of insecurity. I’m still working on it. Maybe I’m just considered the princess now . . . I’m not sure. But what I am sure of is that deep-seated feelings of insecurity are not of God. I pray God will continue to give me wisdom and knowledge into more of who He is. I used to think that I needed to know what His grace meant for my life. However, what I’ve learned over time is that I don’t need to know the fullness of His grace in my life; I just need to trust in it. Whether I see it or not, I need to trust. And then the ocean of His grace will overcome my entire existence and flood me with exactly what I need. I can’t demand it. I just need to believe in it.
I’m still learning. Even as I write to you, He is teaching me.
People who write blogs and books about God are not experts. No one can be an expert on God. We are all just trying to share with you the beauty which resides in Him – the glimpses we see excites us and we need to share it. I need to share it! When we share His works the through process occurs. He wants to shine His beauty over us and shadow us under His mighty wings. I am called to serve Him. You are called to serve Him. So let’s serve Him well!