Sometimes I gravitate to the thing I believe will meet my needs in the moment, rather than paying attention to what God might want me to hear.
Like yesterday. I started the day with the mistake I always regret, yet continue to make: I read the news. And I learned that
- We’re in for another three to four weeks of sheltering in place, and
- The experts are now saying that Minnesota’s peak of this COVID-19 virus may not occur until mid-July.
Then I looked out my window and saw that less than 48 hours after the most beautiful, sun-filled, 70-degree day so far this year, it was snowing and blowing. Not enough to amount to anything beyond knocking over my garbage can, but that wintery white surprised and depressed me.
So when I finally opened the Bible for my delayed “quiet time with God,” I was more than a little down. I naturally headed toward something that would make me feel better—a verse I’ve SAP’d many times before when I’ve needed some supernatural strength and encouragement:
“God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
I love that verse. It builds me up, and has given me renewed energy just when I need it. But yesterday I also caught the line right before it. Try as I might to skim past it on my way to the verse I was seeking, I got stuck right here:
2 Timothy 1:6: “Fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you.”
I’m tired. Tired of being alone, of being on edge, tired of washing my hands and bleach-wiping everything in sight. Tired of being a cheerleader for everyone else while feeling more than a little lost myself.
I want God to zap me away from the fear and timidity that is threatening to overwhelm me. Yet here He is reminding me that He’s already given me just what I need…and that I’d best fan those gifts into flames again.
Yup. I get it, Lord. I see what You’re trying to do. But sometimes it’s not so easy.
Still, rather than continuing down the path toward a full-fledged pity party, I will thank You for for opening my eyes to what You want me to see. I pray that You will strengthen and energize me to fan those flames once again, so that I can use all that You’ve given me to calm myself and to bless others.
I know my current state is just a passing thing, but I just can’t seem to snap out of it. Last night’s pizza and chocolate cake did not help at all. Fill me up again with Your Spirit, please Lord. Thank You in advance for giving me a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline so strong as to wipe away all of my fear and timidity, all of my anxious thoughts. Amen.
If only it were that easy!
But I know that even when I can’t feel Him, God is right here. And He knows me so well. He knows what brings me joy. So I count on Him to bring me back to that place where my natural abilities and passions meet my spiritual gifts, and simply take off.
When I’m there, fear and timidity don’t stand a chance. Because when I’m in the zone—in my sweet spot—my true colors shine through.
Do you remember that song? True Colors—first sung by Cyndi Lauper in 1986, then Justin Timberlake 30 years later. Click below to hear the most beautiful version yet, sung remotely by a 28-person virtual choir:
Do you know your “true colors?” That sweet spot where you shine?
If you are a follower of Christ, you’ve been given a special gift that, when combined with your personality, natural skills and passions, will lead to your own spiritual growth even as you bless others.
To learn more:
- Watch this four minute introduction to spiritual gifts.
- Take the free, online assessment to identify yours. (You’ll need to enter your email address to get your results, but rest assured that EBC can be trusted not to abuse that information. If in doubt, just move straight into #3.)
- Learn about your spiritual gifts through the descriptions provided here.
Use it all to consider how you might use everything God has given you to bless others during this very strange season of life. And please, if you have a minute, send up a prayer for me–that God will zap me a little harder, bringing my true colors to the forefront again!
Just like that, the phone rang. An old friend, calling just to talk. We hung up 45 minutes later. With a fresh, light heart, I started to sit down again to finish this post. The phone rang again. My daughter this time, whose voice always brings me joy.
I believe I’ve just been zapped.
Wishing you a blessed, if unusual, Easter.
If you’d like to ooze into God this weekend but aren’t sure where to go or how to begin, know that you are welcome here: