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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shaken Hard and Spilled Out

I recognize gifts as being from God above.  I know people are blessed with different gifts and even though I sometimes want what was not planned to be mine, most of the time I try to work my path and not envy other's.

Most of the time.  But last night I couldn't help but wish, down deep, that I was her. 

Because some gifts were planned for every believer and this I know is truth.

Gifts, talents, skills - they are given from God as a purpose of building others up.  They enable us and enpower us to Christian love.  And our Father God meshes them all together among believers- your gift and mine - so that we may all work more effectively to love more.

Jesus said we would be known by our fruits. 

You will know them by their fruits.  So then, you will know them by their fruits.  Matthew 8:16,20

And fruits are acts of love.  Our Christian character manifesting itself in service to others.

If we believe in Christ something strange happens, we are just plain folk who are given a power.  And we become no longer plain, but a tree bearing fruit. 

A powerful tree.  Like a large oak with roots bearing deep into the earth, drawing life from the river of grace.  With a gifted power to give the love and grace of God to other people.

No one gift, no one calling can define one's Christian life.  The Giver defines our life.  You don't need to be a scholar or a pastor or a theologian to share the flow of God's grace.  A river that flows in the ordinary life of all believers.  All you need is to believe.

There is only one real hope for us all, and in being faithful we live it out in the tough circumstances of this world.

And I'm preaching this all to myself as I lie in bed long after midnight.  Wondering, no - knowing, what would not have been acomplished for Christ that night if it had all been left up to me.  I'm tossing and turning and struggling with this wretched sinner that I am. 

My love tells me maybe I can't sleep because I'm tired.  Yeah, tired of another lesson that seems to have come down as sharply from above as the lightening striking outside. Tired that I once again need another lesson.  And He - Jesus - is the great Teacher and the lessons He teaches gently and lovingly are shaking me hard.  Shaking out my selfishness and laziness and scattering them about so I can't rest.  And when he disciplines . . .

I just sat in my car.  I just sat in my car.  But she stood outside - in the rain and thunder and lightening -and brought back the baby.  Why didn't I think of that?  I follow her lead all night, from store to store, phone call to phone call.  And admire her gift.

And I'm led to Matthew in the Message Bible.

Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior:  Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.  Add up God's Law and Prophets and this is what you get.  Matthew 8

  Because this gift was planned to be mine.  And not only do I have to believe but I have to act.

And because He doesn't need me to accomplish His work is a good thing.  But how sad it is to be an empty vessel.

Fill me Lord.  Shake me hard and spill me out.  I pray.

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Drawing of me losing my cool courtesy of budding artist, Izzy.


Have a dressed up day!


. . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12