What Did You Do With Your Gift?

Give a dog a bone, and he will do one of three things. He will bury it for safe keeping, usually in a fast fury of diligent digging. He will set it aside and forget all about it because there are better things to do in life – like sleeping, sleeping, and more sleeping. Or, he will go to town on it and enjoy every single nook and cranny of possibility chewing the heck out of it. When it comes to the gifts God has placed inside me, I have truthfully dealt with them much like a dog. Hey, wait a minute, did I just call myself a dog? Heaven’s no. But I sure can act like one – especially when it comes to God’s gifts.
Throughout much of my life, I have buried my gifts. Sound familiar? Look at your own life. Maybe you can relate. Or read the parable of the talents in the Bible, and watch how others dealt with the talents God gave them (Read Matthew 25). Some used their talents. They invested them wisely. But one man took his talent and buried it just like – well, just like me. Who am I to say the man is like a dog? I am not! But I can easily say I have buried my talents for far too long just like a dog.

Sometimes, yes, I have resorted to another dog tactic. I have tossed them to the side and forgotten all about them. It wasn’t intentional. I simply became distracted. My priorities got out of order. You know the deal.

Just recently, thanks in large part to a sermon preached by a pastor I know, I took another look at the gifts the Lord has given me. Most especially, I looked at the gift of writing the Lord has given me. I wish I could say I have acted like the dog who takes his bone and enjoys every ounce of it. I even wish I could say I simply became distracted through the years. And, yes, I did become distracted. But, most importantly, I acted like the dog who took his bone and immediately buried it. But why would I do such a thing?

Honestly? Fear. Intimidation. Self hatred. Self doubt. Self – oh, boy. Lots of self, huh? Yes. Even selfishness. How could I not use the gift God has given me to love and serve Him, and to bless the world around me in whatever way God desires? I am not sure the reasons matter as much as how I feel about all of this.

So how exactly do I feel? I feel like God has shaken me awake. I feel like God has said, “Hey, daughter, take your bone out of the ground, take a good hard look at it, and let’s get busy. I’m giving you another chance.”

Do you know something? Have you ever seen a dog forget where he buried his bone? I think in some ways I had forgotten where I buried it. But God in His gracious way led me right back to it with a strong – and loving – reminder that He has given me a gift to use (not bury).

One thing I know for sure. As God does a major work in me right now as I walk through one of the most challenging places I have walked thus far, I believe He is preparing me to better and more fully use the gift He has given me.

Lord God, thank you for never giving up on me. Please forgive me for not using the gift you have given me in the way and at the times you desired. Please prepare me to use it for your glory. I cannot do this without you. But with you, with your love and strength and mercy, I choose to dig the gift up out of the ground, to place it in your hands, and to ask you to lead me forward in every way you desire. Father, I have loved writing since I was a little girl. But most of the time, I have felt overwhelmed and intimidated – so much so that I have preferred to re-bury the gift I have sometimes un-buried. Please, Lord, help me this time to discern your voice, to obey your voice, and to walk forward with gift in hand that you might help me to use it for your glory and for the benefit of the world around me. I thank you, too, Lord, for the joy I receive in using this gift the way you have called me to. In the name of Jesus, Amen. 

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