“May no gift be too small to give, nor too simple to receive, which is wrapped in thoughtfulness, and tied with love.”~L. O. Baird
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. I’m nearly forty and for some reason, still feel slightly unsettled in terms of what I’m called to do here. It’s possible that recent events in my life (family upheaval and such) have rendered me somewhat paralyzed; however, it could just be that I am reluctant to use the gifts I know God has given me because I’m not sure who would accept them. Sometimes, we know what God wants us to do, but we simply can’t muster up the courage to do it. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of being stubborn. In those cases where our lack of progress is the direct result of a lack of confidence, what do we need to do in order to “man up?” We all know that where we refuse to make a move, God will no doubt move us when He feels it is time. So, do we wait for divine intervention or do we take the plunge. As the saying goes, do we “feel the fear and do it anyway?”
I wholeheartedly believe that God knows when we are afraid to make a move and He allows us more than enough time to muster up the requisite courage we will need to move forward. But He also knows when we are looking at the gifts He has given us and saying, “Hmmm, I really don’t like this. Can you exchange it for something I want?” He knows where we are grateful and He knows where we are being self-centered. In all cases, He will push us toward where He wants us to be when He wants us to be there. You cannot fool Him into believing that you appreciate the gifts He has given you by just dabbling here and there. If He wants you to do something, He really wants you to put your whole heart into it and until you’re ready to commit to His will, you won’t be able to use those gifts as He intends.
I’m pretty sure that God wants me to write. I also get a feeling that He wants me to work with women and children and empower them to overcome negative situations. My problem is this; I get hung up on the details of living my life and forget that I’m not living for me, but for Him. I get caught up in the drama that is being a thirty-seven year old mother of one who is struggling to find her purpose while she goes about the business of paying the bills each month. Every so often, I take time to think about how I could help others and every so often, I get discouraged because I think to myself, “I have a hard enough time taking care of me and my daughter, how am I going to help anyone?” I doubt my capacity to do anyone any good because I’m too busy worrying about how well I’m doing in my own life. Too busy critiquing my gifts.
The truth is that God gives us opportunities each day to give something to the people we know, the people we love, or even just the people we meet. You might say the one thing that spurs somebody onto doing something wonderful for themselves or for another person. What if that story you tell about how you came through a particularly difficult time in your life is just what the person sitting next to you needed to hear to keep going? If fear is holding you back, He will give you strength when it is time. But don’t pick apart the gifts He has given you and hold back something that might well be a gift to another. Whatever you give with love is worth giving, even if the person you’re trying to give it to doesn’t seem to be accepting it. Thankfully, God never forgets this and He keeps giving to us in hopes that one day we will be gracious enough to say, “Thank you, Lord.”
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.~Lamentations 3:22-26 (New International Version)