Each of us should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4: 10
When I retired about 10 years ago, I had a mental list of all the things I wanted to do that I had never had the time nor opportunity to do. One of those was that I wanted to take an oil painting class.
I had gone to a couple of classes years ago, but had never pursued it further. My sister-in-law, Carol, who constantly inspires me with the amazing portraits and works of art she does, encouraged me to give it another try in a class she has been attending. It is held at an area church where the couple who sponsor the class attends. They chose years ago to offer the classes in memory of their disabled son as a way to honor his life by helping others find the joy in painting that he did. Various professional artists come each month to teach, and the sponsors provide all the materials at a minimal cost. Devotions are given before each class and it is a wonderful way to fellowship with others as we enjoy the quiet, peaceful atmosphere.
I was really looking forward to trying to master the technique and learn all I needed to know. I had no visions of grandeur or excellence, but I just hoped it would be something that I could do well. But as much as I wanted it to be, I realized pretty quickly that it was not a gift God has given me. Even so, I will return to the remaining classes and give it my best. Carol got me here! If nothing else, I can watch her and be in total awe of her talent!
Our class was made up of about 20 people, and most had been painting for years. Everyone was so encouraging and helpful and I really enjoyed our time together. There was such a calmness and serenity in the room as I saw these blank canvases become magnificent works of art with just a few deliberate strokes of a brush. Their creations were filled with intricate detail, vibrant colors, and incredible eye appeal! I thought of how much satisfaction their talent must give these individuals and how much joy they must bring to others. How humbling it must be, to have the gift of being able to recreate God’s handiwork in all its beauty!
I recently read that most of us have never tapped into the potential God has given us. We may recognize our talents, but most of us don’t use them to the extent we could or should for the purpose God intended. And some may think they haven’t been given any, but when God looks at us, He sees us as individuals who are beautifully and wonderfully created and gifted. He gives each of us our own unique talents and gifts that make us who we are and that set us apart from others. We know that He has certainly given some individuals more than others, and some talents are much more profound, but we all have been gifted in some way.
It’s amazing to realize that He gave us different abilities in order to complement each other and that when we bring them all together, we can accomplish wonderful things for Him. He wants us to discover things about ourselves that we may not even know we are capable of doing. Or He may help us rediscover a gift that we have taken for granted and seldom use, thinking it is not particularly beneficial, when it fact He intended for us to use it to serve Him. He wants us to look for opportunities to do things that may stretch us beyond what is comfortable or natural for us and when we do, amazingly, He will make it possible for us to do more than we ever imagined.
Whatever talents we have been given, it is His desire that we use them in a way that would be pleasing to Him. We are the manager of those gifts and whether they are large or small, we need to value them, for how we use them matters to God. When He created us, He gave us a “trust” and made an investment in us, and He expects us to return that investment in a loving, unselfish way by using our gifts.
What a deep sense of satisfaction we will have when we serve His purpose with the talents and abilities He has given us. And if we use them wisely, He will bless our faithfulness to Him even more.
Dear God, thank you for the talents and abilities you have entrusted us with and help us discover those we aren’t even aware of. Guide us in using them wisely to glorify and honor you. Amen