Talents are Not Dispensable...

After service on Sunday, and learning how I see my King, I sat down to the keyboard and proceeded to start writing my next post. I could summarize the scripture teaching in a couple of paragraphs, but still I needed more content. That is when I heard that little whisper telling me to wait. So, of course, I walked away from my computer to move about my day. It was a gloomy, rainy day, which made it especially difficult to just wait.

Monday came and went, as did Tuesday and most of Wednesday. As I was settling into bed, late Wednesday night, I wanted to spend at least a few minutes in the Word before I went to sleep. Something had been gnawing at me all week, and I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

As I turned the pages in the bible that rests in bed next to me (I have one downstairs by my computer as well), the Parable of the Talents sprung from the text.

Let me back up to two weeks ago. I work for a company that does extensive philanthropy work. Every year we build teams of volunteers to participate in a Habitat for Humanity project that spans across the summer months. The vice presidents of each division choose a weekend and then recruit from their divisional staff. My division is on for this coming weekend.

I have been planning to go out of town this weekend, for a few weeks, but as the time kept drawing near I kept having second thoughts about going. Back to Wednesday night, as I sat in bed thinking about “talents” and what mine were, it hit me. Holy Spirit had been telling me that I needed to act on this volunteer opportunity.

In the past month, God gave me a new house and has provided for me in other ways, but the house was major. I asked Him for it and He gave it. Now, He wanted me to give back to someone else. I decided, before I turned out the light, that I would sign up to volunteer the next morning at work.

When I got into the office I went to my manager and asked if it was too late to be included. He said it wasn’t and I took the last remaining spot that needed to be filled.

The parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) emphasizes the need to serve the master while he is away. It focuses on the use of "talents." (A talent being a weight of measure, weighing about 75 pounds and worth more than a thousand dollars.)

Two of the servants invest wisely and are rewarded. The third servant hides his talent. He is rebuked, by the master, as being lazy and wicked because he fails to invest his talent wisely. 

This parable is often used to emphasize the need to use our talents wisely -- by investing our time, money and gifts for the kingdom so that when the Lord comes again, we will hear His words, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" (Matthew 25:21)

Our King speaks to us, and when we are open to hearing and obeying Him, it is amazing what we find. Miracles come in all shapes and sizes, and I believe that God is directing me to document His glory, in my life, to illustrate that He is always working miracles, even small ones. He is always asking us to do some small thing that He is going to turn into something big, and not, always, necessarily for us, but maybe for someone else.

We are interconnected, after all.

Trust His Plan - A Basic Introduction

Plans. As I sat down to write this post, I had plans. Plans to introduce myself. Plans to talk about Mary and recap lessons to be learned from her. Plans to have it written by midweek – more than a fortnight ago.

Alas, I had to concede to plans. Every time I sat down to the keyboard, my mind was filled with revelation. I’d write a few paragraphs, and God would say, “Nope, that’s not it.”

I quickly became frustrated with what I call writer’s block until, finally, I asked God what it was that He was trying to get me to see, hear or understand. So, while I was waiting on His answer, I started the day’s packing for my upcoming move.

All I kept hearing was “plans.” Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 19:21, Proverbs 3:5-6, 1 Peter 1:3-4, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, Proverbs 16:1-4.

I wondered how this related to my writer’s block, as I opened Facebook to see if any of my friends had answered a call for moving help that I had posted earlier. There, on my newsfeed, was a random post: Jeremiah 29:11. I put my phone down, continued with packing, and thought on it some more.

A couple hours later, I opened Facebook again. This time there was a post from one of my friends: Jeremiah 29:11. I, then, saw a video in my newsfeed from Elevation Church so I watched for a few minutes (With all due respect to our pastor, I adore Pastor Steven Furtick’s energy). I bet you can’t guess what I heard: Yup, Jeremiah 29:11.

Okay God… I know you are trying to tell me something.  What am I missing? I asked you to tell me how I could use my talent to minister. You answered in the form of this blog that I am, now, attempting to write. Pastor Jamie and I decided on a plan, and now You are telling me to wait?

Fast forward to Memorial Day weekend – the weekend of the move. (I mentioned above that I had posted a callout to my friends on Facebook for help. What I didn’t mention is that I was worried about how that help was going to come.) A voice whispered in my ear, “Ask, and I will make it happen.” So, I did.

Four people showed up to help me (one even drove from West Virginia). Every time I needed to spend money on some last-minute need, it was covered, and on the last trip to the old house I found the ice hockey skates I had been looking five years for (Finding the skates was huge, because I had given up on them, and the significance was that this move was the end of a chapter, but not the end of the book).

As the weekend came to an end, I cried in awe because God had fulfilled His promise to me – “ask and I will make it happen.”

Jeremiah 29:11 was not about plans as much as it was about trust – trust that God would show up, trust that He is always there and trust in His faithfulness.

When I was given this opportunity to minister to and for Jesus, I was elated. I wanted to do a good job. I wanted my words to be eloquent and profound. I wanted to follow the plan that Pastor Jamie and I had discussed.

And as I came to this revelation, I heard God tell me to have faith as Mary did – that His plan wouldn’t always make sense, but to trust that He’s got this. He said, “Proclaim My victory! Be vigilant. I will tell you what to do, and through your obedience My glory will be seen.”

Praising God for His glorious grace, today and every day!