Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Looking back at discouraging times... and being encouraged!

March 8, 2004

I am still not sure what my spiritual gift(s) is/are. But one thing I learned in a course I took at church was that "...in addition to the study of Scripture, the best way to discover and confirm which spiritual gift is yours is through serving." And, your "natural talent, rightly sanctified for God's use, often points to the identity of your spiritual gift."

I realized that as time has gone by, I have learned to love to serve. God is so good to let me do things that I enjoy. Like singing in the congregation, baking and shopping for the youth night cafe, organizing the church library and filing system, teaching the lesson sometimes at childrens church - and maybe now facilitating/ teaching/ leading a prayer and service and evangelism focus group(?) Sometimes I've done things that I didn't end up liking, or I started doing something and then the job was given to someone else. But that is God's leading in my life. So, I've found a closed door there, but an opening perhaps coming up elsewhere.

At the Saturday night youth service sometimes I feel badly that I am not more outgoing and friendly, but my ability to shop, organize, bake, and cook - to serve! - opens the doors for those with outgoing speaking-type gifts to be able to more easily fellowship and share Christ verbally with others. And so God uses us all together to do his work. And yet sometimes I myself get to speak up for Jesus, too! Then I am teaching, and being an older woman guiding the younger women into greater Christ-likeness (Titus 2:3-5).

I always felt badly because people love my mom so much, because she is a really good listener etc. And I was so crushed when I was told, "Get over it. You'll never be like your mom!" But I'm just finally realizing that I am like my mom. I do serve. I do have opportunities and abilities God can use to reach others and to honour and glorify Him and fulfill His purposes. It's just that the details (ie the specific abilities and giftings and my particular personality and background, etc) are different. But the goal, the purpose is the same. So I am really like the people I've held in high esteem all my life. Because, wow! God wants to use me, too. He has a special place for using me. He made me special and He does have a "wonderful plan" - and purpose - for my life.

I was so down on myself. I was so discouraged. I had so little joy; though God was so faithful during all that miserable time. But now I know. I am a child of God, an heir of the King of kings, a sister of Jesus Christ, my Saviour. Fantastic! He has chosen to want and need and use me! Amazing grace!

Even when I was having such a hard time a while back, God gave me moments of sunshine when He used me to lead singing, and as a guest speaker for a Christian womens group. God has called me, and He has already used me, and He will keep using me more and more as I learn to truly walk with Him, and truly "practice the presence of God" in every aspect and moment of my life. Thank You, Jesus!

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