February 09, 2015

What Are You?

Devotion for the Week...

A few years ago I did a stint as our small church's Women's Ministries leader. I wasn't very good at it. I took on the position because the woman in it before me was wanting out, but no one else wanted in. I figured I could probably manage, so why not? Ummm, maybe because I'm not really the leader type? Maybe because I'm pretty good at doing what I'm asked to do, but not always so good at figuring out what needs to be done? Oh, and maybe because I'd only been going to WM for a little while and didn't really have any clue what was expected? Yeah, all of that and more.

So, before Nathan was born, I stepped down. Now I have a better understanding of what God didn't intend for me to be (a Women's Ministries leader!) and, along the way, I got a little glimpse of what He does want me to be. It was while I was leading WM that I wrote and shared my first devotion, and a couple more after that before I stepped down. Bless those women who supported me and encouraged me when I shared them! It took a few years for me to get from nervously sharing my thoughts with those women to starting this blog, but I see a direct link. Through a little trial and error I found a part of what God designed me to be.

Have you found what He designed you to be? I know without a doubt that He designed each and every one of us to be something in His kingdom. In fact, 1 Corinthians 12 resounds with this message. Verses 4-7 say, "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good." To each one. Not 'only to the special ones', or 'the important ones', or 'the brave ones' or even 'only the good looking ones'. To each one. God didn't leave any of us out. He has a work for all of us to do. Our first job is to figure out what that work is. After that, our job is to do it.

It sounds simple enough, but our tendency is to think we're not good enough at anything. We tend to compare ourselves to others, don't we? And when we compare ourselves with others, we usually don't come out on top because we look at what we lack and compare it to what they have in abundance. It's more helpful (and certainly healthier), to keep our eyes on our own papers, so to speak. Ask yourself, What can I do well? What do I enjoy doing that could maybe be used to help others? What do other people comment on, telling me I have a talent, even if I don't think what I do is anything special? Those will be clues to what God wants you to be.

I think it's probably the things you think aren't anything special that God wants to use. Not because they're ordinary or not special, it's just that they come so naturally to you that you feel like everyone should be able to do it, and if that's the case, why should you go out of your way to do it? Except not everyone can do whatever it is. My husband plays piano by ear, without reading music, and he plays beautifully. If someone compliments him on his playing, he usually just shrugs and brushes it off because to him it doesn't seem like anything special. To someone like me (without a musical cell in my entire body), it's something almost magical. I can't even begin to comprehend how he can hear a piece of music and then just figure out how to play it. It boggles my mind. Our oldest son, Aiden, plays drums the same way. I hear him work his way through a new song and I wonder how he knows which drum to hit and when! To them, music is simply a part of who they are. It is not at all a part of who I am. Is there something that is a part of you that God has given to you to be used for His work?

Even after we have an idea of what God wants us to be, we may still shy away from actually doing it out of fear. Fear that even our best efforts won't be good enough. Fear that people will think we're crazy for thinking we could ever do ______. Fear that no one will be interested in what we have to offer.

Fear is powerful. I know because I listened to it for years, dreaming of writing while not actually writing anything. Unfortunately, I don't have any great insight for you on how to overcome the fear. The best I can offer is this, "Feel the fear and do it anyway." It probably won't make the fear disappear, at least not right away, but you'll finally be moving forward!

God made you to be something special for Him. Do you know what that is? And most importantly, are you being it?

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