Hands On (and More) Part 2

Gifts

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above" (James 1:17). The joy of working with our hands in service and the privilege of enjoying the fruits of our labors comes only from our Creator.

But what if you don't know what your gift is?

Growing up, I thought I knew what I was going to be and where I was going. But having gone through so many detours and u-turns, I had become very confused. God, though, has been very patient with me.

He was also patient with Moses and his excuses when He called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. My, what excuses Moses had. "I am a nobody." "I don't know You."  "I have nothing." "I cannot speak." And in all these excuses, God has an answer. He taught Moses who he really is, who I AM is that sent him, what He can do (with just a rod), and what he had to say.

Let's look at those excuses and see if they are familiar. And let's also find out the truth, as opposed to the lies that we are hearing.

Who am I? I am a nobody. So said Moses.  When he said that, he was comparing himself, a runaway of Egypt's nobility who was now a lowly shepherd, to Pharaoh, the seemingly all-powerful ruler of Egypt. Playing the comparison game never does anything to our self-esteem, but only adds unhappiness and insecurity. Then we become afraid of taking risks, scared to fail. We fear discomfort and responsibility.

Marriane Williamson in her book, A Return to Love, wrote,  "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate… (but that) we are powerful beyond measure… We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you to be not? You are a child of God… born to manifest the glory of God."

Bear this in mind--- you are a child of God! And nobody or nothing can refute that.

I don't know anybody (who is a somebody, who can put a good word for me, who can pull strings for me). As David boldly faced the giant, not because he has the latest armor or weaponry, but because he knew Somebody greater than anybody; a Christian can face anybody and anything in God's mighty name. David knew God. The One who saves, who delivers. He wore the armor of God's Word. He knew the One who said: "Because he has set his love on Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call on Me, and I will answer him: I will deliver him, and honor him" (Psalm 91:14-15).

Know Him, the God who directs the planets in the universe, He who "commands His angels to protect you wherever you go", who directs every activity that happens in this world, who the "winds and the waves obey", and you will find out that He is enough.  Enough for you to face any challenges and anyone standing in your way.

My gifts... enjoying their gifts. :D
I have nothing. No talent. No ability. No money. No beauty. No fame. "Then the Lord said to Moses, What is that in your hand? And he said, A rod" (Exodus 4:2). What is in your hand? Moses had a rod and God wrought wonders with it. For some of us, it may be a calculator and a computer, a paint and a canvass, a sewing machine, a spatula and an oven mitt, a pen and a notebook, scissors and a hairdryer, a spade, a car… I believe that Jesus has given "to every man his work" (Mark 13:34), and that whatever we find our hands to do is  the work designated to us, for a time, for a season, for life. 

For me at this season of my life, I have a diaper and a bib. I have been a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. But whether I stay at home or work outside, I am a mom, a full-time mom. There are times when I become so mired of the constant, thankless task of taking care of my three young children that it becomes drudgery.  That's when I need to be reminded that the work I do as a mother goes far more than eyes can see. That when I allow God to work His wonders in whatever I have in my hand, whether it's blowing the boo-boo away and patching up scrapes with a band-aid, or giving them a gentle massage with a mint ointment before they fall asleep, or reading a book to them, or lathering their hair with a strawberry-smelling shampoo, or throw snowballs back at them so they will shriek happily... the outcome of my efforts goes as far as eternity.

The Bible encourages us that "whatsoever (we) do, (we have) to do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto men" (Colossians 3:23).

I do not know HOW to speak (to sing, to teach, to cook, to write, to make, to use, to sew…). God's reply to Moses: "Who has made man's mouth? … Have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be your mouth, and teach you what you will say" (Exodus 4:11-12). God's response is the same for us today. He is our Creator and He will supply us with what we need to do what He asks us to do.

I realized that in my life, He sends people and allows me to go through circumstances that teach me the skills to fulfill the purpose of what He has made me for. Also, He has supplied me with a Map and a Compass--- His Holy Word and the Holy Spirit, and all I need is to ask Him for wisdom (James 1:5) to know my gifts and use them for His service and His glory. The many detours and U-turns that I have gone through could have been avoided if I have consulted His Word more frequently and prayerfully, allowing the Holy Spirit to impress my mind with the specific work that He has for me.

Wouldn't it be exciting and fulfilling to do the work we are ordained to do? No fears, no excuses. And what if a part of what we do is unappealing or uncomfortable? Let us be reminded that God's purposes goes beyond what our eyes can see, and let us turn our eyes on Christ who was naked, homeless, a stranger, with hands wounded that we may have His gifts of grace.

I invite you to receive Christ's gifts of grace and see what He can do for you. Beyond imagination!

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