Now there are varieties of gifts; but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. (1 Cor. 12:4-6)
After Hurricane Harvey I served on a grants committee that gave financial assistance to organizations and agencies helping those in need. During our site visits to the impacted neighborhoods, I was always moved to witness the heroic efforts of people working through the enormous challenges they were facing.
Not enough money. Overcrowding. Vulnerable senior citizens. Shortage of supplies. Overcommitted contractors. Language barriers. Hungry families. Struggling children. Lost jobs. Destroyed cars. Displaced loved ones.
During one meeting with a group of caregivers, I asked, “Given all the loss and devastation you’re facing, and given the shortage of resources to meet the peoples’ many needs, what keeps you all going?”
One woman, probably in her seventies, stood up and proclaimed, “I was made to do this work! I’m hardwired for helping people in crisis, and nothing—not even this blasted hurricane—is going to keep me from doing it!”
This woman was living into her spiritual gift. How could we describe her gift? Serving those in need with grit and resilience and determination. Even though she was dismayed with the devastation so many had suffered, she was also totally focused, alive, and energized to be using her gifts for others.
Her name was Lorna. What was true for her is also true for us.
In today’s scripture, Paul says that everyone has been given spiritual gifts. I encourage us to discover, embrace, and then use the gifts God has given to us.
The world needs the spiritual gifts we’ve been given. So does our community. So do those in need. So do we.
When we use the gifts God has given, we will, like Lorna, not only bring life, energy, and hope to others, but we will also bring meaning, purpose, and joy to our own lives.
- What are gifts God has given to you? Are you using them for the benefit of others?
- Have you ever denied or neglected some of your gifts? If so, how come?
- Like Lorna, we’re most alive when we’re living into our God-given talents and abilities. When have you felt most alive, useful, and needed? When was the last time you felt charged up? Is there something you need to do or join, so that you can feel that way again?