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Everyone's got talent

Each of us is given a measure of talent - scripture refers to it as NEEDED talent. It has a purpose - even if it is a small one. It may not be the 'biggest' or 'brightest' talent of all around you, but it is uniquely yours and you are designed to use it. Look at the widow with the one tiny mite (not even a penny). She gave it all - though it was nothing compared to the "sizable" financial offering of the wealthier or more well known individuals who came to the temple that day, it was EVERYTHING to her. Faithful hands and a yielded heart is all God ever wants. I have heard many a person hopelessly announce, "I don't have anything to contribute." The problem is they are comparing their 'talent' to another's talent and if they don't think it measures up quite as well, they discount their talent. We each possess a NEEDED talent - uniquely our own - specifically to be used by us in the blessing of those around us - in small ways or large, it doesn't really matter - we just need to use it!

God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, "He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out." This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God. (2 Corinthians 9:8-11)

How does faith begin to arise from within us - to grow, multiply, and become a blessing for others? Certainly, it comes as we begin to yield our lives to God in total surrender - no longer choosing to live by our own stubborn choices. As we "center" our thoughts on him, we begin to feel the "settling" influence of his Spirit deep within our lives. This very "settling" of our emotions (fears) begins to allow us to "rest" in him - to finally be at peace within. This "rest" becomes the place out of which we begin to "give" out of what he has given to us. At first, the "giving out" from what God has given us may seem like it is small, and even insignificant, but it is a SIZABLE thing in God's eyes! The more we give, the more we seem to see that NEEDED talent become a blessing of SIZABLE proportion!

Don't every forget - God can pour on the blessings - and he does it in ways so astonishing we may not fully be able to comprehend it! I have learned God seldom meets my need in the exact manner I imagined he would. In fact, he often has some other awesome way of meeting it that I would never have considered! One thing I know for certain - God is not limited by our imagination! His presence in our lives makes all things different. His very presence is what gives us the ability to stand when we are weak, trust when all seems to be falling apart, give when it hurts, and reach out when retreating to a place of refuge would be much easier or more comfortable for us. It is God's unique way of blessing us - give and it shall be given is the principle being taught here. Truth be told, God knows no limitations - not like those of us who think there are limits to just about everything. I rarely get to the place of "throwing all caution to the wind", yet it is commonplace for God to do so in our lives, not once, but over and over again until we are head over heels in blessings! He delights in pouring into our lives - his presence, his peace, his love. Whatever the need - he is ready. 

What he gives, he desires to use as a blessing not only for us, but for those whose lives we will touch in turn. I honestly believe this is one small way he is able to show his limitless love and power in this world - through us! He uses his blessing in our lives to touch the lives of others (no matter how small it may seem to us, it is huge when we do it in obedience to him). We always have something we can give away. I frequently get the calls from the agencies who run the various thrift shops in town. They are seeking donations of used goods they might sell within their various stores. The concept is simple (and it is kind of biblical). It is in the giving of what we have that others are put to work in a productive manner. As the donation is made, the truck drivers have a mission (a purpose). The donation is sorted by others who needed productive work. The items are distributed to the various stores to be resold. In so doing, even this small gift of what we saw as no longer useful in our lives becomes a huge blessing to many, many others - including the one who will 're-purpose' that item in their lives. The one who purchases the item is only the recipient of it after it has been a blessing to many others along the way!

Throw caution to the wind, my friends! God wants both the things of our abundance AND of our need! He delights in seeing us give from our abundance, but he is overjoyed when he sees us giving from within our 'talent' that he has gifted in our lives! In so doing, we are blessing him - but we also see the many blessings of others being touched by what God is doing in our lives. In learning to give in such a way, we are learning to live "robust lives" in God's goodness and grace! You may not think you have a talent today, but look at where you flourish - what you enjoy so much - chances are that is the place God has placed your talent. It could be you are a baker, wonderful cook, or even a seamstress. That 'small' talent in the hand of God can be a blessing to others. Fideos for a recovering friend, chicken soup for the one with the sniffles, banana bread for the shut-in who loves a little something with her afternoon tea, and even the gentle hug you give - all are a 'talent' when used by God to touch the lives of another! Just sayin!

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