I Peter 4:10-11
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
You saw in my last blog post the video of my daughter singing in church. She sings quite a bit for various reasons at different places. Recently, my 8 year old son, Connor, asked me, “Why does Carissa get to sing in front of people all the time?” Connor hates to sing in front of people, but the question almost sounded like he was a little envious of his sister. So, I tried to explain it by saying that everyone has a gift or a talent that God has given them. Some people’s gifts are used in a very public manner, like singing, and some gifts are used “behind the scenes” and maybe not so visible, but equally as valuable.
This got me thinking about gifts, talents and service. I truly believe that everyone has something valuable to offer the Lord by way of talent and service. It’s true that some people find their place of service more quickly than others, but we each have the ability to offer something to the church or the community in which we live, that will shine the light of Jesus.
Chronic illness can certainly hinder or dampen the ways in which we use these gifts. There will be periods of time in our illness when we are unable to physically serve the way we want to. And then in the good times, there is still a very delicate balance of serving versus protecting our health. It can be discouraging when we know we have the gifts to help, but we are not physically able. We realize that we either have to say no or that the most we can give is not all that we want to give.
God knows. He hears. He sees. And He certainly understands. The important thing is that we are willing to serve. That we are to be seeking ways to use the abilities that God has given us to bless others with His love. Whether publicly or privately, whether a lot or a little, we are to shine a light to those who are lost or those who need encouragement. Even when we feel as if we are the ones who need the encouragement! There will be seasons of illness where you are unable to serve and that is okay. But there will also be seasons when you can truly pour yourself into blessing others. We are to be willing vessels. Willing to serve when our bodies are able.
I wrote a blog not too long ago about self pity and I still think the greatest remedy for self pity is to find ways to serve others. It can be things that are so simple, yet serving will take focus off of ourselves. I always feel better when I have done something to encourage someone else. And service can be as simple as giving a kind word to someone who needs it. Wherever your talent lies, whether used in public or behind the scenes, don’t let illness rob you of the joys of serving our Lord.
Ann : -)
There is still more room for my readers to participate in the Invite to Write. If you have been thinking about it, now is the time to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can’t wait for you to read what some of my readers are going to be sharing this summer!