We are all gifted. We all possess qualities that help, improve, or bless others. We may be days old and giving a family hope for the future, or in our later years trying to come to grips with limitations after a lifetime of productivity. But we all have a purpose...or we wouldn't be here.
Some of us have teaching gifts...of possessing reservoirs of patience and enthusiasm that transform children into more than they would have been without the input. Special education teachers give love and acceptance to those who require additional care to bring out their potential. Or perhaps the teaching gifts are to follow the biblical mandate to teach younger women the skills of homemaking, parenting, or being a godly wife.
Others have the gifts of entertainment and artistic expression...of giving us a few minutes of rest from the normal grind of doing everything that we must do. Singing, dancing, acting, or creating something that speaks to the heart. Taking the photographs, writing the stories, and preparing scrapbooks of points in time that fly by entirely too fast while we are just breathing in and out and putting one foot in front of the other.
Others have the gifts of mercy...of fixing broken bodies or broken lives. Being the ears and hands that heal and help. Those who visit in the hospitals and who pray for people that they don't even know because a friend has asked them to do so. Perhaps it is just the mercy shown through being the shoulder that we are searching for when we have made a mistake, suffered a blow, or are confused and alone.
Others have the gifts of administration...of making order out of chaos, for insuring that life goes on in an rational manner. The ones who make it possible for other people to live out their dreams and who know how to put the pieces back together when everything is falling apart. These are the ones that head the committees, manage the funds and plan the path.
The problem is...some of us either forget we have our gifts or we don't take the time to develop them. We are angry because we wanted to be something that we are not. Disappointment has made us diminish what it is that we were supposed to be in this world and so we refuse to participate any longer.
And then there are other people who use every drop of what God has given them to bless other people. They may not be the most gifted...but are certainly the most blessed.
I heard a while back that you can't outgive God. Any scrap of time or energy that you give for the kingdom will not be wasted. Your efforts may not seem like much...but you never know how it will be received by someone else. And frankly...you aren't supposed to care.
I know that some people have gifts that are universally admired...like a beautiful singing voice, the ability to excel in sports, or an intellect that solves medical mysteries. But each of us has something that we can give that makes this world a better place and which would go undone if we weren't here to offer what we have.
So for those of you who pray, bake, write, serve, watch, fund, endure and create for a small circle of admirers...just remember that your gifts are noted by an audience of ONE. That ONE...we are told...is pleased by the exercise of the gifts you are given. So be you...and remember to use every drop of talent and ability that you have...just as you enjoy the gifts of others. Yes, there are times when we feel like our gift is too small to matter...or we are too insignificant to make a difference. It is at those times when if you put your offering in...it will be used most effectively. Don't be afraid...there's a big world out there and a lot of hungry hearts and broken spirits.