As we draw breath after the busyness of Holy Week and Easter Sunday, I wonder if now isn’t a good time just to take stock.
I encouraged you to take time during Holy Week to reflect on the events of that week some 2000 years ago, and to seek to draw closer to the Lord and I hope you were able to make at least some time to do that. Having done so, the next step might be to just step back from life and reflect on what Jesus calls you to do.
Of course we are all called to follow Jesus, and to share the gospel, to be a light for the Kingdom of God wherever we are, but is there something specific he has called you to? What gifts has he given you to use for his kingdom? How might you use them? Is he asking you to use them in a new way?
Years ago I was challenged by a friend who sent me this quote from Paul Coelho:
Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when the person looks back-she will hear her heart saying, ‘What have you done with the miracles that God planted in your days? What have you done with the talents God bestowed on you? You buried yourself in a cave because you were fearful of losing those talents. So this is your heritage: the certainty that you have wasted your life.
It’s a challenge certainly, but if we believe we are all part of the body of Christ then we all have a part to play no matter what our limitations or life’s circumstance.
You may have heard of a young man called Henry Fraser, a talented rugby player, who at the age of 17 he suffered a neck injury that left him paralysed from the neck down. And yet, despite his injury, he is an inspiration to many, choosing as he has to give motivational talks and encourage people through his own story. He has taught himself to paint just by holding a brush in his mouth and produces some wonderful drawings and paintings.
On his website he notes:
‘After my accident I thought so many doors had been shut. In fact it’s opened so many more. If it wasn’t for the accident then I’d probably be leading a very boring life at the moment. Adversity has given me a gift.’
If you’ve ever seen the Narnia movies or read the books you might remember a passage in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, where Father Christmas shows up and gives the children a present each. Each gift is different, personal to the child, but each one also has a use, and he explains to them what they are for and their part in it. In the book, he also hands them a tray of hot tea, which I don’t think made it to the movie! This is a great illustration of the gifts God gives to us as individuals, some with a purpose for us, but like the tea sometimes the things God has given us are to show love and compassion, kindness, and as here of a shared need as they sit in the cold. Gifts from God are not just for purpose but to enrich our lives and that of those around us too.
So, why not take some time this week to reflect on and pray into the gifts God has given to you and how he might be calling you to use them now?
Psalm 139 – fearfully and wonderfully made
Romans 12:1-8 – Identity and Introduction
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 – Spiritual Gifts
1 Corinthians 12:12-31 – The Body
Ephesians 4:1-16 – Five Fold Ministry,
Romans 12: 9-21 and 1 Peter 4:10-11 – Using our gifts as outreach
Galatians 5:22 – Fruit of the Spirit
What you are is God’s gift to you; what you do with yourself is your gift to God