Using God-given gifts brings joy

Using God-given gifts brings joy

Using your God-given gifts brings you joy, but not everyone understands what drives you.

I perused books on a shelf debating on a purchase when someone I knew greeted me with her hand on my arm, laughter bubbling through her words. “Don’t you want to write books some day? And how’s that going for you?”

I felt slapped. I mumbled something about slow but sure before I turned from her and studied the backs of the two books I considered. Perhaps she was earnest in her inquiry, but in that moment I felt like I’d been mocked, like she thought it ridiculous that I should do such a thing. Confiding in her would not be safe for me. Those who write understand the myriad of emotions that fluctuate from day to day, even moment from moment as we work out the words on the pages of our Word documents. Dreams die and hearts break when no one supports you.

Find your support team

Finding people who encourage you, believe in you, and understand your work, keep you on task when the times get tough. Each of us has a dream or desire. Perhaps it lies buried because you let discouragement win or maybe life or hardships derailed it. If your heart still sings when you ponder and nudge this dream, then perhaps there is still a chance to take that spark and make it burn hot again.

Cathy Gohlke wrote to an uncle in her acknowledgments in her novel, The Medallion, thanking him for his words of wisdom that changed her life during a time when she was uncertain of her life’s path: “You reminded me that a sure way to know if I’m working in the will of God is to ask, ‘Do I have joy? Is the yoke easy? Is the burden light?’ So—is writing joy to me? Yes! A thousand times, yes!”

I understand Gohlke.

Sometimes our friends or family don’t understand why we work at certain goals. They may see our work as a waste of time or misunderstand what drives us to continue spending so much time on a dream that doesn’t materialize in our timing.

Some of the world’s greatest inventions, however, took years to birth. According to Forbes, it took Edison 10,000 tries to succeed at his commercial light bulb. The Wright brothers didn’t give up on their flying machine. Other entrepreneurs and inventors declared bankruptcy more than once but persevered. I’ve read accounts of scientists almost starving and begging friends for help as they faced hardship after hardship to complete projects that they believed would benefit humankind. Why did they continue when it was so hard? What made them press on though they could lose everything, even die?

God-given gifts can be misunderstood

Not everyone understands your passions or dreams, but take heart. Even Jesus’ brothers mocked his ministry. (See John 7:2-10.) Scripture tells us they asked why he wasn’t going up to the Feast of Tabernacles to show off his miracles. It seemed they believed that Jesus wanted to be a famous public figure. They missed the point of his work.

So, if you have a hobby or activity or mission that brings you joy, makes you feel happy and satisfied, then do it. No one knows what makes your heart sing more than you and God. When I meet my Maker, I want to have enjoyed the gifts he blessed me with. Each of us has a unique purpose. Different does not mean not valuable. Oh, my. It’s what is different that adds the value!

Maybe the gift is just for your use. God gives us gifts for our pleasure.

Maybe your gift is for the benefit of others? God asks us to love others and make sacrifices for the good of others.

It’s something to pray about anyway. Remember you aren’t alone. You matter!

Maybe like Jesus, you will stay behind for a time and then go out. I’m confident you’ll figure it out. He’ll be right alongside you, your biggest fan.

What is one of your God-given gifts or talents that brings you joy?

Photo credit: Sujan-khalifa, Unsplash.

8 Replies to “Using God-given gifts brings joy”

  1. The other day, I spent the afternoon editing and re-writing several devotions. Lynn had the afternoon off from driving for RSVP, so he was reading. One time he quit reading, studied me and said, “Do you enjoy doing that?” as if he couldn’t understand why I would do that. I looked at my manuscripts, the three versions of the Bible that I use most, several writer’s help books, pens, pencils, white-out, etc. and said “Yes!” He just shook his head, as if he thought I was crazy and went back to his reading. I smiled and went back to my writing.

  2. There are certain things in my life that I can get lost in, and time slips away so quickly I can’t believe it. (Well, that can happen with vegging out on TV or computer games as well but I know those aren’t God given talents 🙂 ) I assume the things that are productive (for me) are part of God’s gifts. It takes a long time for me to gear myself up to sitting still and writing. But when I do, I get lost in the moments, and take pleasure in a finished short story. In the back of my mind, I want these stories to “go somewhere” financially speaking. The other thing is caring for my horse and 4 barn cats. One, two, or more hours can slip away in the blink of an eye, and the problems of the world disappear for me while I am caring for animals that depend on me for their needs. My horse is very old (around 40) and requires a completely different lifestyle, eating, and general regimen than your average pasture horse. And since he is alone, I (and the cats) are his only herd mates. I know that God has gifted me in training him, working with him, caring, etc. or I would never be able to do it. And joy? Yes!!!

    1. When we find joy and peace in tough jobs, it really is a gift only God could bestow. The love we have and nurture with pets and others is another precious gift. It never feels like work when love is involved. Thanks for sharing, Deb.

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