Invisible Grace That Now I See

My oldest daughters were still preschoolers when our library hosted a dance party for kids.  We decided to see what a dance party for tiny tots looked like.

There was some Hokey Pokey and something like Sweatin’ to the Oldies.  My kids jumped into the middle of the room and boogied down with the best of them while I sat criss-cross applesauce on the edge of the circle and smiled.

And I marveled at one of my mom friends, who hokey-pokied with the best of them, dancing with her only son.

How does she do it?  I wondered.

People asked me the same question for years as I worked from home with young kids, balancing work production with Candy Land breaks, juice cup refills, baby doll changes, and searches for Barbie’s perpetually missing shoe.

But I told them that it wasn’t so amazing for me as a momma to three.  My kids played with each other (with periodic fights, of course).  How much more amazing was the mom with one child!

Besides, somehow we made it through despite the hard days.  The kids ripped the house to shreds and pieces while I worked and I couldn’t come behind them and clean up or cajole them all day to pick up their own blocks, Barbies, babies, Little People, dollhouse, movies, crayons, and dress-up.

Some days I felt like capital-F Failure mom for too much TV time and too little creative play.  There were times I rocked a tiny screaming baby while crying from fatigue myself and I thought:  I….can’t….do…..it….all.   That’s a realization that hurts.

Some nights I coached myself in preparation for my husband’s call on his way home from work: Good wives don’t explode about their day to a weary husband stressed with his own stuff.  Good wives don’t complain about fighting children and the two-year-old who dumped a bar of soap in the fish tank.  Good wives don’t cry on the phone while they are making dinner in the kitchen, hiding out from the living room that is covered in princess dresses and tiaras, with a screaming baby on her hip and two preschoolers in the play room battling out who had the doll first.

But of course, my husband would ask the question: How was your day?  And what do you do then but explode into an unintelligible mess of tears while you stir the spaghetti?

We worked through those tough days, and it took discipline, a schedule, planning, a dose of humor, reasonable expectations and grace, such incredible grace.Silhouetted female in front of sunset sky

So often, we miss this grace, this invisible presence of God and the way He helps us through.  We think grace is only the obvious, only the easy, only the deliverance from and not the deliverance through.

Yet, sometimes there’s nothing simple about it.  Sometimes even grace is messy and difficult.

Occasionally, grace is God stretching our miniscule faith.  We feel the aches and pains of growth, the throbbing in our souls and we think, “I can’t do it, not one minute more, not one single day.”  But there we are, rising with the sun again, giving it another try, and leaning hard on Jesus, somehow making it through.

This past week, I paused for thanks, amazed that somehow God helped me have a productive day even with three daughters home on summer vacation.

That’s when God shone light on the invisible grace from all those past years.  In the blindness of the moment, I’d missed it.

He used almost seven years of me typing medical reports at my computer with kids at my feet to prepare us for the here and now of me writing with young children.

God doesn’t waste the tough days, difficult seasons, dry spells, or training times for any of us.  He’s a Redeemer of each season, a recycler of past refuse, a Creator of all things beautiful in their own time, and He is surely working in you today in preparation for tomorrow.

That’s how God worked in David:

He chose David His servant
and took him from the sheepfolds;
He brought him from tending ewes
to be shepherd over His people Jacob—
over Israel, His inheritance.
He shepherded them with a pure heart
and guided them with his skillful hands (Psalm 78:70-72 HCSB).

God didn’t need a palace-trained king.  He needed a shepherd for His people, so He taught David out in the fields, long before this shepherd donned the crown and the robe and ruled as King of Israel.

God had a plan all along.

We may only see the now-invisible grace in the looking back.

For now, we have to grip on with white-knuckled determination, knowing that He’ll use this for His glory, knowing it won’t be wasted, knowing somehow He’ll prepare us for the future with Him.

…Knowing grace is here even when it’s invisible.

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Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2013 Heather King

Unsweetened Iced Tea

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2  Corinthians 5:17

Unsweetened iced tea.

That’s what the quiz said my personality resembled.  Not sweet tea or peach tea or even a little wild raspberry tea or health-conscious green tea.

Unsweetened iced tea, as in bitter, plain, strong, and unfriendly.054

During our family trip to Pennsylvania, we spent a morning at the Turkey Hill Experience where my kids learned how to make ice cream, created their own flavors, starred in their own ice cram commercials, sampled some of the delicious treats, and more.  It was a great family day.

Before we left, though, my oldest daughter discovered a touch screen display with a little personality quiz.

What flavor of tea are you?

So, I gave it a little try, just for fun.  After a few questions about what I liked to do in my free time, how I handled conflict and what I was like around my friends, it made its deep psychological assessment of my character:

Unsweetened iced tea.

Underneath that was a paragraph about how I’m blunt and can hurt people’s feelings, but I get the job done no matter what the cost.  I sounded a little like Donald Trump.

I turned to my husband with a questioning look and he shrugged it off.  “Nah, that’s not you.”

Silly machine, I thought.  It’s just a foolish test that probably isn’t ever right about anybody.

So, of course I made my daughter take it just to prove my point.

She read through the questions and gave her own answers, and then it popped up with her flavor personality.

Peach Tea.

The read-out said she is smart, creative and a kind and compassionate friend.  They even recommended she pursue a career in making greeting cards.

That is so her.

If I had to write up my own assessment of this child, that is exactly what I would say about her, and this machine figured her out with only about five questions.

Silly machine?

It seems like it should be so much easier to ignore the accusations and judgments of just-for-fun personality games or even those of other people.

So what if they think we’re unsweetened iced tea?  Does it really matter what they think?  Should I care about what a machine says based on my answers to a few multiple choice questions?

It’s not rational or logical, but it did matter to me a little.  Unsweetened iced tea….that’s who I used to be.

Sixteen years ago, I was bitter and hurtful, strong, unrelenting, and essentially unconcerned about who got knocked over or bruised when I focused on accomplishing tasks and reaching goals.

Maybe I was a miniature Donald Trump without the hair-do or bank account.

But God.

God took that teenage mess of a girl, who seemed so in control and together, and broke her in ways she needed to be broken.  He shattered pride and the hardness I had built in my relationships with people.  He reached in and kneaded my heart until it became soft and pliable in His hands.

He taught me how to receive grace…and then how to give it.

Yes,  He re-formed me.

Maybe in seasons of pressure or stress, I still have that capacity to revert to who I used to be.  Maybe my tongue can still slash through people like the sharpest of weapons.

But today I am thinking as I cut through the butter with the tines of the fork and smash it to the bottom of the bowl, crack open the eggs, and watch the sugar pour in grain upon grain.  I mix with the spoon at first and then finally reach in with my hands to do the work needed.

And as the dough pulls together, I realize—hadn’t God done this to me?

Paul wrote:

 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you (Romans 12:3 NIV).

That means seeing the truth about me—not who I was, not who others say I am, or how I measure up on personality quizzes.  It means looking deep and seeing “this is how God has made me and this is who I am in Christ”—no better or worse than that.

If God’s grace did this, smashing and breaking me until I could be pulled together again into something He could use, then why still think of myself in that old way?  Why hold myself to labels from the past and an identity formed oh-so-long-ago before grace bruised me and healed me in the way that grace does?

Some machine still saw me as unsweetened iced tea.

But God’s sweet grace had poured into my soul and I’m not the same.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2013 Heather King

A Stranger in a Bookstore

He had a scraggly brownish gray beard and glasses and wore a faded t-shirt with worn-out jeans.

I was about 17 at the time, and I had stopped into the tiny used book shop not far from my home.  It was a regular haunt of mine, this book shop where I’d scan the shelves, moving past best sellers and romance novels and looking for the classic treasures that I loved and could pick up for a dollar or less.

It’s been so long ago now.  I can’t remember how the conversation started or even why.  Knowing me, I certainly wasn’t the one to initiate a chat with a stranger, especially as a teenage girl with a unknown guy in a store.

But this I remember so clearly.

For some reason, he asked me what I wanted to do.

And I said, “I want to write,” in a whispered confession kind of way, the kind of admission you make in embarrassment because you know what you just said was crazy, impractical and surely impossible.

In fact, I couldn’t believe those were my words.  I didn’t know at the time why I said something so foolish and frantically searched for ways to escape the conversation.

After all, I’m a practical person.  I may have majored in English in college, but I wasn’t silly enough to think that meant writing.  I told people maybe I could edit, or work in publishing, or go to law school, or teach…..all more logical options than dreaming the impossible dream.

But I had said it, “I want to write,” and I didn’t know why or where it had come from or what it really meant, and I didn’t know how to take it back.018

This I remember, too.  He said, “Well, what you have to do is read the best and just write and write and keep on writing.”  Then he handed me a book called Seize the Day, which I took home with me and still have on my bookshelf, and then he walked away.

I get emails now a few times a month from ladies asking me how to get published and could they do what I do, and I give them all the practical information I possibly can.  Unfortunately I can’t give them “Ten Steps to Publishing Success” or “The Five Things You Need to Know About Christian Publishing” and I wish I could—really and truly.

After all, I’m just a humble girl still plugging away at writing myself.

All I can say is just obey and trust God and start small.  Don’t dream about bestsellers or fame or personal glory or royalty checks.

Ten years after a chance meeting in a book shop, I was a mom with two kids and a job working from home, a job at the church, and ministry responsibilities, and I felt like God was telling me I needed to be writing….in my “free time.”

I started as that tired out mama typing away devotionals and articles in a word processor after my kids went to bed at night.  I didn’t think anyone in the world would ever read them.  Maybe one day I could print them off my own printer and slip them into a three-ring binder for my daughters to enjoy.

Then someone asked me to edit for an online Christian women’s magazine.  And then she allowed me to start writing articles.  Then I felt like God wanted me to write devotionals and publish them online, so there was this blog….and then a book idea that took discipline to write in the middle of crazy busy days….then there were some other articles….

I didn’t think this was ever possible and it certainly wasn’t on my own.

But God.

I have to tell you this secret—I cry every time I get the email: “We’d like to publish….” because I just know that it’s God’s grace and I can’t miss it.  I didn’t plan for this, didn’t expect it, don’t deserve it…. I’m just amazed by it and so humbled by the reminder of how it’s all about Him.  So, I stretch myself out face down on the floor every…. single ……time and cry out thanks to Him for grace like that.

Maybe we all have “but God…” moments.  They so rarely start with a grand vision of success in any worldly way.  They start with the smallest steps of obedience, humbly just doing the quiet things and being faithful in the here and now, and then one day we look up and wonder how in the world all this happened—-and know it can’t be anything but Him.

That’s the beauty of the “….but God” testimony; He gets the glory.

Like Asaph tells us in the Psalm:

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever (Psalm 73:26 HCSB)

And it’s the testimony of David, who “stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hill country of the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul searched for him every day, but God did not hand David over to him” (1 Samuel 23:14 HCSB).

It’s impossible.  We don’t deserve it.  It’s hard and we’re weary. Maybe there are enemies; surely there are obstacles.

But God….He is our Strength, our Hope, our Deliverer.

******************************

May I take the time to humbly share some of these blessings from God with you?
If you’re looking for ways to find some of my writings online or in print, here’s when and where to look….

I’ll have articles in both the May and June issues of P31 Magazine by Proverbs 31 Ministries.  This gem of a magazine offers encouragement, Scriptural principles, and practical wisdom for Christian women.  What an honor to be a small part of this ministry!  Proverbs 31 Ministries is in the middle of moving offices and re-designing the magazine, so they aren’t open for new subscribers at the moment.  Hopefully, though, they’ll be open to new subscribes again soon and issues are available for purchase individually online.

My book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening our Lives to God’s Questions will be published by Discovery House Publishers in November 2013!

You can find my articles every month at http://www.myfrienddebbie.com/ and Ruby for Women, two online magazines for Christian women.

I also have the honor of serving as a small group leader for online Bible studies for women at Women’s Bible Cafe (new studies starting in April!!!) and you’ll find me sharing book reviews there, as well.

And of course I’m also on Facebook and you can find me on Twitter (@Heather_C_King) for Scriptures and quotes from Christian authors, and on Pinterest.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in November 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2013 Heather King

Weekend Walk, 1/26/2013: Snow

Last year, I don’t remember seeing a single flake of snow.  No snow days off of school for my kids.  No bundling them up in two layers of pants and shirts and socks, then piling on coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and boots to send them outside.  No scraping off the frozen clothes when they pile back in and then making hot chocolate and snuggling them under fleece blankets.

This year, it hasn’t been much snowier (so far), but yesterday the tiny flakes finally piled 005up onto earth cold enough to hold them.

Snow!!!

My kids ran outside as soon as they finished breakfast this morning to play in it.  When they were done, my oldest brought in “clean snow” for snow cream—a recipe we’d never tried before.

Me, I like snow outside while I stay inside.  I like to watch it fall, so peaceful and hushed.  I like the brightness of it, especially when it covers over the drab muddy browns and muted gray-green of a snowless winter landscape. I like the untracked snow, the kind before boot prints and tire tracks and melted slush.

I like the reminder of what Christ has done for us.

Such a simple beauty this Saturday morning: A reminder as clear to me as a rainbow in the sky showing God’s faithfulness to His promises.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow
(Psalm 51:7).

They used this hyssop (really the ezov plant) for ritual cleansing in Israel–for purification and the ceremony to pronounce a leper healed and made clean again.

We’re self-condemners so often—listening as Satan reminds us of past sins, beating ourselves up in our minds, calling ourselves all manner of cruel names: stupid, a mess, flaky, foolish, failure, idiot…

God is so much more gracious than that, willing to cover over our sins, able to wash us and redeem us, able to purify our hearts and heal us from the diseases that plague our souls.

This snow–mostly still outside, some melting in spots on my kitchen floor from where my children have trekked in from outside– reminds me of His powerful, cleansing grace, a “grace that is greater than all my sins.”

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in November 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2013 Heather King

Weekend Walk: Cracking Eggs, Learning Faith

It began with the sugar cookies we made a few weeks ago.

Fall is prime baking season at our house, time to pull out our favorite recipes, now dotted with batter and splattered with sugar and flour, vanilla, and spice.

Of course, baking at our house always involves one Master Baker and three assistants, who all want to crack the eggs.

For years, I’ve declined, confining my helpers to stirring and pouring in the already measured flour.  Finally, though, I relented when we crowded around the table to make sugar cookies.  Thus I began the risky job of teaching children how to crack eggs into a bowl of ingredients without also dumping in egg shells.

One daughter daintily tapped the egg on the table, barely making the tiniest crack in the shell.  Another practically slammed her egg down on the side of the bowl.  My preschooler tried to mimic the other girls, tapping and then slamming.

Eventually, I exhaled.  I had survived the initial egg cracking and only had to dip my hand in to snatch a few shells from the batter.

Since then, we’ve baked another batch of sugar cookies, some cinnamon bread, ginger spice cookies, and a pumpkin pie and every time there is improvement and growing confidence.

I may never crack another egg open again.

As a mom, it’s so difficult at times to teach and let go, instruct and then take my hands off and let my daughters try, maybe fail, maybe succeed, but always try and try again.

But if I’m always the one cracking the eggs into the bowl, how will they ever learn?

Spiritual growth happens the same way.  God may teach us truths from His Word, but eventually we have to live them out and apply them in the dailyness of life.

“Trust Him” we read and so we must eventually trust.  “Rest in Him” we learn and so eventually we must ease our white-knuckled grip off the steering wheel and relax under His guidance.

Anything else isn’t spiritual growth at all; it’s stunted dependence and shallow faith, quickly dried up into cracked and dusty death at the slightest drought.

So, this week I’m thinking about the many ways I need to teach and let go and I’ll be meditating on a verse that reminds me how I myself am growing, little by little, sometimes via mistakes and occasionally in triumph.  But always God is patient when He has to pull out the eggshells when I’ve made a mess of things.  And gently He allows me to try again.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
(2 Peter 3:18 NIV)

You can check out some of my recipes here!  Or, you can visit the links below for some of my favorite fall baking:

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King

Weekend Rerun: Blessings in Sticky Keys

Originally posted on June 10, 2011

“For You make him to be blessed and a blessing forever; You make him exceedingly glad with the joy of Your presence.”
Psalm 21: 6

I have a piano.
I have young children.
I’m trusting you can fill in blanks, use your imagination, put two and two together and figure out what all that means.

A few months ago, I sat down to play a song and noticed a key was sticking.  By the second page of music, the key wasn’t sticking anymore; it was downright stuck. Beautiful notes . . . beautiful notes . . . beautiful notes . . . thunk.

This has made my musical life difficult.

Then, there are the piano lessons for these young daughters of mine.  The offending key is not one of the mostly unnecessary ivories on the end of the keyboard.  Oh no; it is an oh-so-necessary note for any song not in C position.

So, I pulled out method book upon method book, recital books, beaten up and falling apart books covered in pencil marks from when I first learned to play.  My daughter played every single song in C position I owned on this overstuffed musical shelf of mine.  All this to avoid the offending key.

Finally, I broke down and called about repairs.  I held my breath waiting to hear how much this fix-it job would cost and then I heard the magic word: Free.

Free I tell you!!  The manufacturer recalled the keyboard on this piano because of sticky keys.  And so I danced around my living room and gave thanks to God for this blessing.  This tiny kiss from God and sweet reminder that He cares not just about the heavy burdens I carry, but also the daily annoyances and petty frustrations.

It’s a moment of visibility, the clear and unmistakable hand of God even when we are busy and rushed and overwhelmed.  It’s a flash of His glory amidst darkness, making us breathless with the beautiful and captivating mercy of it all.

But, then there are the not-so-visible blessings.  The ones we must squint to see or perhaps can only be seen in flashbacks.  While we’re in the pit and trapped in the mire, God’s hand is invisible, His blessings unclear. 

Yet, when God has lifted us up, washed us clean, taken our hand and led us forward on the journey, we can then throw a glance at the past and see the shadows of grace and blessing that we missed before.

Sometimes we know a blessing when we see it; sometimes we don’t.

Genesis 49 tells a story of blessing.  Aged Jacob calls his 11 sons to his side to tell them “what will happen . . . in days to come” (Genesis 49:1).  One by one, Jacob blesses each son.

Some of those words are obvious blessings.  Like for Judah: “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet” (Genesis 49:10).

And for Zebulun: “will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships; his border will extend toward Sidon (Genesis 49:13).

And for Joseph: “Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers(Genesis 49:26).

Then there are other prophecies for other sons.  Commentator Bruce Waltke called these “antiblessings.”

Like for Reuben: “Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel” (Genesis 49:4).  And for Simeon and Levi: “Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel” (Genesis 49:7).

Antiblessings.  Maybe they even sound like curses from a dying father to his sons.  And yet blessings they are called.

Have you ever walked through something that seemed like a curse, only to find later it was truly a blessing?

Bruce Waltke explained:

In terms of the nation’s destiny these antiblessings are a blessing.  By demoting Reuben for his turbulence and uncontrolled sex drive, Jacob saves Israel from reckless leadership. Likewise, by cursing the cruelty of Simeon and Levi, he restricts their cruel rashness from dominating.

Beth Moore in The Patriarchs says, “We might call these blessings of restriction. . . .Both what we receive and what we don’t receive can constitute blessings for us and those around us.  God is all-wise.  He blesses us as surely by what He does not grant as what He does.

I have received these blessings that are only visible in memory.

At 13, I decided where I would go to college.  I worked.  I saved my money.  Years passed and I reluctantly applied to other schools along with this college, fully believing those extra applications were simply a waste of time and money.  I only toured my dream school.  I auditioned for the piano teacher of my choice.  I sought out a mentor in the Theory and Composition Department.  I went to the open house.

And then, I couldn’t go.  It was a resounding, clear “No” in the most nearly audible voice I have ever heard from God.

It seemed like a curse.  He didn’t give me the “desire of my heart.”  I was depressed, lost, confused, broken.  Listlessly, I started classes at the one college I simply did not want to attend.

And I grew.  I changed my major.  I met my husband.  My career path altered.

Abundant blessings grew out of the antiblessing.

Has God told you, “No?”  Has He delayed in giving you what you’ve asked for?  Have you been buried in circumstances that seem like curses?

Maybe that’s what you’re living through now or maybe it’s what you’ve experienced in the past. Either way, it may be hard to see a purpose or plan in all of this.

Allow God to peel back the layers of hurt and frustration and reveal underneath all of that the blessing that’s so hard to see.  Ask Him to open your eyes to see His grace at work even in heartache and loss.  It’s there, my friend, the blessing, though hidden perhaps, is there.  “Salvation belongs to the Lord; May Your blessing be upon Your people” (Psalm 3: 8)

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Weekend Walk, 07/21/2012: Grace Gifts

My older daughters just walked out the door to swim lessons while my toddler and I are here at home.   I can hear her singing in the other room as I sit and type about this week’s verse.

My daughters and I have been talking often about finding “their thing,” their God-given gifts and talents, the set-apart uniqueness that God lovingly placed in their hearts and minds even before birth.

Is it ballet?  Is it art?  Piano, singing or some other musical instrument (my one daughter wants to play the tuba)?  Is it swimming or soccer?

Hence the swim lessons and ballet classes.  It’s why I sit next to them on the piano going over notes and fingering.  It’s why I’m still waiting to hear from one girl whether she’s signing up for ballet in the fall or holding out for spring soccer.

With one daughter, the problem isn’t what—it’s how much.  She’s artsy and crafty, a lover of stage performances.  She wants to play the piano and the flute, sing, act, get her pointe shoes in ballet, excel at school, and be an artist.

It’s my middle girl that I check in on often.  I don’t want her doing activities just because her older sister is doing them.  She needs to find her own way, her own passion and joy, and then work hard to develop skill.  She CAN do many things, but what is it that stirs her soul?

We were alone a few days ago and she announced from the back of the minivan (where it seems most of our conversations take place), “I know what I can really do, Mom. I can make people laugh.  I think I could be a magician when I grow up and tell jokes and funny stores to make people laugh during my show.”

Hmmmm.  How do you nurture a gift like that?

It’s still a process of discovery.  After all, they’re little still, and we’re searching and figuring out what treasure God has placed in them.

And this is a treasure hunt for all of us.  1 Peter tells us that we have all received a gift from God.  He didn’t skip over you when handing out presents from his spiritual gift and talent bag.

We have a responsibility, though, to use these gifts to serve others.  No hoarding them or hiding them or using them only for our own benefit or glory.  God’s goal is to unite us in service to one another.

Not only that, but we are “stewards of God’s grace.”  That means when people look around and wonder where God’s grace exists, if it exists at all, they should see it in us—in the spiritual gifts He has given us and our faithful service to use them.

That’s what your crafty, artistic flare is.  Or your creativity.  Your musical talent or your compassion.  Your generous spirit of hospitality or your athletic discipline.  Your wisdom.

The gifts God has given you are deposits of grace in a world desperately impoverished.  So, let’s meditate on this verse for the week and ask God to help us be faithful stewards of His grace, in whatever form He has given it to us.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms
(1 Peter 4:10 NIV).

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King