Do you ever have a morning where you get the sense that something is coming down the pike for the day?
Today was a roller coaster. Encouragement spilling into a hospice notice. A needy homeless call right before the plans for a party. A goodbye note from a coworker and a email of encouragement.
I feel like that is a snapshot of the Church: good, mixed days where we cry, laugh, and live together. When the Church is working best, we fight, strategize, reach out, and celebrate in community, and that connects us like bungee cords.
I had one of those light bulb moments: so this is how it works for us to use different spiritual gifts together! One is the optimist and enthusiast, another stewards funds and deals in numbers, a third evaluates safety with a healthy dose of compassion. Paul talks about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12…I wonder if he includes a comprehensive list or if there are others also. Either way:
“4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all…”
Paul says it in Ephesians 4 like this:
“4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
We learn our gifts like toddlers learning to use their voices and feet, then apply them like high school students preparing for a science fair. It is not always pretty, but through all the explosions and disasters in life, we make progress, by God’s grace. What makes the difference? We are not the focus. We never have been. Instead, we seek God’s heart for the people around us and share the love that we learn through His love for us. He teaches us, we share, and work together. Praise God for His long-suffering patience!
And in the end, all the blunders and triumphs will just be markers on the path to Christ with us, present in a new way. Glory to God! Thank You, God, for a good, hard, day of challenges and that You are with us through all of them…but You also have other people to help us get off the floor and keep going. Please help me to better understand where I fit into this complex Body of believers. Thanks for how You use unsure, imperfect people. To You be the glory, Amen!