Just this Spring, I prayed for more margin in life and it came in the form of a job resignation. You can read all about that here. Since that time I've adjusted to life as a homeschooling, work-at-home mother who also is a ministry school student. Crazy how life can change in such a short amount of time.
Homeschooling has enough lessons of its own, but ministry school is proving to be the best teacher of lessons and has changed how I'm doing life.
I just started my second quarter. But last quarter, the running theme for me turned out to be: got a gift? Use It! It was in the Understanding Your Gifts class that we focused on this subject. We took assessments to determine our giftings and then discussed ways we could use them. I already knew what areas I was gifted it, but I knew God was calling me out of the knowledge phase into the action phase as He's laid some new areas to launch out into in the last year.
I used to be one of those people who always had a reason why I couldn’t fully use my gifts: I wasn’t trained enough, I was too old, too young, there was no place to use the gift in church, and my list went on and on. God has used ministry school to challenge all of that faulty thinking. In my Principles of Faith class, God challenged me to step out on faith to those areas He is beckoning me to. Isn’t it so much easier to hug the shores than to wade into unknown waters? Introduction to Leadership helped me to see that I have a sphere of influence where I am a leader even if I don’t consider myself a leader in the traditional sense.
I'm sure you're familiar with the story of Moses in Egypt when He went before Pharaoh. He was worried about Pharaoh not taking heed to what he had to say. But God assured Him he was already equipped with the gifts He needed to go before the royal leader. Exodus 4:1-3 says: Then Moses said, "What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, 'The LORD has not appeared to you.'" The LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" And he said, "A staff." Then He said, "Throw it on the ground." So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.…
Often the very thing we consider common, uninteresting or "just that thing I've always done" is the very thing God uses for His glory. God took Moses' ordinary staff which he probably used in his days of shepherding behind the mountain and transformed it into a vehicle for a miracle. And He can do the same with that gift that you think is no big deal. He can glorify Himself through your poetry that's hidden in notebooks in a drawer, or that singing voice that you too often compare to someone else's or that knack for organizing that you think no one takes notice of.
You know you have gifts that God has given you, but they are just sitting collecting dust. What are you going to do about it? There are a million excuses in the world, but none of them will excuse you from using what God has put in your hand to do. Might I encourage you to push fear aside and use what God gave you. What's in your hand that you need to use?