Faith, Uncategorized

I Used To

I’m sitting here in my favorite chair. It’s dark. Everyone is asleep. Except for the humming of my heated back massager, the house is quiet. I can’t really be this old.

But I am this old. It’s not old as in “at the end of life” old. Or “silver-haired” old. More like “mid-life” old. Not quite “over-the-hill” old, but “I can see the summit from here” old. That’s where I am. At least I don’t have any gray hair yet.

As I sit here in my favorite chair, sipping my Coke Zero, and listening to the hum, I am thinking about something that stuck out to me in Bible study tonight: Seasons. It wasn’t the point of tonight’s lesson, but it’s what I took home. At one point in the lesson, the conversation went to the fact that we are all gifted in some way. God has given us special talents and gifts to use in ministry and for His glory. Ephesians 2:10 says that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do the works He had planned for us from the beginning. God created us to do certain things. All of us have different gifts, of course, but we’re to use them collectively to advance the Kingdom. Makes sense.

What struck me, however, was when the teacher of the class started asking us what we thought our gifts were. She asked the oldest one in the room first…a mighty woman of God who has lived for Him all her life. Her answer was, “Well, I used to teach, but I can’t do that anymore.” Next up was another senior citizen. Her response, “I used to bake bread, but I don’t do that anymore.” Next was another older lady who said, “I used to sing, but I don’t do that anymore.” All of these women are prayer warriors and encouragers and helpers now. Just because they can’t do what they used to do doesn’t mean they no longer do anything. It’s those three little words that hit me, though. “I used to.” Why? Because I can say those words, too. “I used to teach.” “I used to be a youth leader.” And you can say those three words, too. “I used to take care of the nursery.” “I used to clean the church.” “I used to _____________.” You fill in the blank. We all have things we used to do.

Is it wrong that we don’t do them anymore? Not necessarily, and that is what I am thinking about tonight. Life is made up of seasons. And God sometimes only calls us to a certain thing for a season. It’s not a bad thing when the season ends. It’s sometimes a hard thing when the season ends, but it’s not bad. It just means that He has other plans for you and needs to move you somewhere else.

And so I was curious and went online to do a spiritual gifts test. I hadn’t taken one in a few years, and I wanted to know if my giftings had changed. They have changed dramatically. When I was in the youth pastor season, my giftings were leadership, administration, teaching. Those gifts fall somewhere in the middle now and have been replaced by faith. Faith was one of the lowest scores I had the last time I took the test. That was before cancer. I definitely needed faith to get through that.

My point is, God equips us for the season we are in. Embrace it. God created you to be exactly where you are right now and He wants you to walk in the gifts He’s given you.

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