Monday, January 31, 2011

Looking for a Hand-Out?

Our pastor spoke yesterday morning about serving the Lord with what is in your hands. If you know me at all, you know that I struggle with feelings of inferiority. I firmly believe that God has given each of us a unique set of spiritual gifts. However, I sometimes feel like I have very little to contribute. I have completed dozens of spiritual gifts inventories; if practice makes perfect then I should be very, very good. I "know" what my gifts are-but those things don't necessarily translate easily into real life.

I usually score fairly high in the area of teaching. I have taught in various positions and to various groups. Currently, I teach Awana (kids ages 6-11) and also I lead a moms' group. I haven't really felt like I have been majorly impacting anyone in either of those things. Don't get me wrong, I know that I am supposed to be involved in each, but neither is very ego-boosting. I actually had one of my moms' group members jokingly tell me that if I was unable to fill my position as facilitator that the group would be fine without me. Talk about a blow to your pride! Everyone wants to be wanted, everyone wants to feel like they are filling a position that no one else could. I haven't felt that way much lately. As a matter of fact, I often wonder if there aren't quite a few people who could do it better, faster, smarter, and on and on.

So, that left me pondering. What is in my hands? I don't have much, but I strive to give freely. Generosity does not come naturally to me, so I fight the old nature constantly to be more giving. It so often seems everything is limited: my time, my talents, my money. I don't want to withhold, but does anyone want what I have to offer? I know that we often are not allowed, for whatever reason, to see the fruits of our labor on this side of heaven. And I try to be okay with that. But sometimes, you just want a tiny sign that you are making a difference.

Sometimes, you want an email from Australia. I wanted one, and I didn't even know it. I wanted someone to say, "who you are, what you do, what you stand for-it isn't in vain". My family is terrific to encourage me- but there is always that teeny ugly voice telling you that they have to say that-they're related, and by affirming you they are, in a way, affirming themselves. You just want an impartial, unrelated, hopefully unbiased, someone to give you a little pat on the back. And the Lord knows that. I hope that this dear, sweet believer doesn't hate me for sharing what she did in secret, but I can't not share what an amazing blessing it was.

Someone from the other side of the world wrote me to say that she was blessed by this tiny little insignificant blog. My babbling, the slivers of my very soul that I pour out in broken, fragmented words, held a little bit of meaning for her. I won't share exactly what she said-but oh! To just know that all this striving, all this struggling, has not gone unnoticed. I know that it was from the Lord. It was His way of saying that He wants me to keep muddling on. I seriously thought about framing it.

"My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:2-3

I so wish I had the gift of encouragement. Along with generosity, it is something that I have to be very conscientious about. But for this fellow believer, it seems so natural. Please- never let the opportunity to encourage someone pass you by. An kind word is never inappropriate. Too often, I am afraid to praise someone else. What a tragedy! I want to always let others know of my appreciation for them. To be for someone else what this kind heart was to me. And by lifting me up, she has reignited my desire to, hopefully,prayerfully, encourage others in heart, and unite us in love. Oh, to encourage and love others into a better understanding of Christ! To be able to use what is in my hand in the smallest of ways to do that...

So, in short(-or really, in long, because that is always the way it is with me. Why say 6 words when 100 will do?) I will keep giving what is in my hand, or rather in my heart. I feel the Spirit so strongly when I write down what He is teaching me. To know that He has used me, if only once, to speak to someone else, renews my commitment to continue to keep sharing. Because there just might be someone, even on the other side of world, who cares enough to keep listening.


  1. Mom and I were just saying today how gifted you are at writing. I know that your blogs are always a joy and a blessing to me. You are a wonderful sister and I would be proud to be like you when I grow up. :)

  2. I kid you not, you can ask her, just this week Grams and I were saying that you should compile all your blogs into a devotional guide. We are always touched by the way you can see God's hand in everything you do and every experience you have.

    You are a blessing, and I'm honored to not only know you, but to be related to you as well. And I didn't have to say that...I wanted to! Love you!



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