Your Gift is a Platform for God’s Glory

Everyone is given at least one spiritual gift. Your gift is your God-given platform to bring God glory. Joined with other gifts . . . beautiful!

“Look at all that beauty!” I thought to myself as I drove by the fallow winter field.

Tall, gangly sunflowers, slightly stooped, and in all likelihood stripped bare by hungrily harvesting chipmunks, stood in a huddled threesome at each corner of a fenced-off garden spot.  I love sunflowers in all their seasons, but it would never have occurred to me to place them so beautifully that even in death they were decorative.

I have made peace with my ineptitude for making beauty happen with flowers.  That doesn’t mean I don’t plant them all over the place and then cheer as they grow — I’ve learned to delight in their wild elegance and vivid colors.  However, I have found that my bouquets tend to be lackluster and awkward affairs which I’ve started calling “poke-ays” because they look as if I just poked the flowers into the vase.  (Oddly enough, my artistic friends say that’s all they do too, but with very different results.)

There was a time when this really irritated me, but these days, I’m feeling blessed rather than threatened by my gifted sisters in Christ who arrange flowers and curate spaces of beauty in their homes and in our church.  Rather than feeling diminished by their abilities, I’m enhanced  — and, best of all, I’m invited into the truth of I Peter 4:11:

“If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.”

Any spiritual gift or ability is evidence of the work of Christ in the believer, and, when put on display, it becomes a platform for God’s glory.  Encouraged by the successful and glorious efforts of my friends, I spend summer and fall hauling in armloads of whatever’s growing in my garden or whatever I find that’s showcasing the work of God’s hand in the fields behind my house.  Then I labor over my “poke-ays” without fear of failure or humiliation.  After all, the “magnificently varied grace of God” (v. 10) is being put on display in other ways in my life.  It’s God’s  job to distribute the gifts — it’s our job to use them.

Meanwhile, my talented sisters in Christ glorify God in ways that might not have occurred to me if left to myself:

  • The patient fortitude of my friend who ministers to kids in an after school Bible club
  • The loving heart of helpfulness that motivates a dear wife to care for her blind husband and his mother
  • The holy boldness of the woman who witnesses to the unsuspecting delivery drivers who come to her home and who gives gifts of food to a struggling clerk she meets in passing at a drug store
  • Our beautiful pastor’s wife who transforms flower, butter, eggs and sugar into magnificent cakes that enhance celebration and delight the honored guest
  • The sweet friend who came racing into church at the last minute with just the right bow for the flower arrangement on the piano
In this rainbow of varied expressions, I hear the words of Peter to first-century believers (who, incidentally, were living in an age of intense persecution):  “As each on has received a gift, minister it to one another.”  There is so much that needs to be done, and it’s all kingdom work!  I certainly am not gifted to do it all, but God has equipped the Body with abundance — not for the exaltation of the one with the gift, but for the glory of the Giver and the benefit of the church.
This richness makes my heart long for the day when God’s grace will be put on display for all to see in His heavenly home, for we will all gather around the table where the Lamb Himself will preside over the feast.
Are there any volunteers to make the bouquets?

17 comments

  1. Pam says:

    What a great story to illustrate the truth you shared with us today! I can identify with the lack of great talent with growing or arranging flowers. My mother was gifted in these areas, button I. Someone gave me a beautiful African violet which slowly began to deteriorate under my care. She took it home for several weeks giving tea and loving care and returned it to me looking beautiful. It only took me two more weeks to finish it off. (She would be smiling broadly in heaven if she were reading this now.) It is a grand thing to be able to acknowledge our own gifts and delight in those of others. Surely, the Lord would have it so!
    Pam recently posted…When a Gift Honors and HumblesMy Profile

    • Michele Morin says:

      What an encouragement! It reminds me of a friend of mine who sees it as her ministry to buy study Bibles for women — even though she is quite poor and suffers from a number of chronic illnesses. She delights in this, and I am blessed just by hearing about it!
      Michele Morin recently posted…Diligent Use of the Word of GodMy Profile

  2. Mary Geisen says:

    We are better together! Amen! I love how God made us each uniquely and blessed us with gifts that belong to us. However, we honor Him when we share these gifts with others. Thank you for your beautiful words today!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…A Muddled MessMy Profile

  3. Debbie Wilson says:

    Michele, You have beautifully expressed truths we all need to understand. It is so liberating when we are grateful for what God has given us instead of comparing ourselves with others or berating ourselves for what we’re not. My husband regularly rescues my poor houseplants! Some time at his office and they are good again. 🙂
    Debbie Wilson recently posted…When You Need a Big GodMy Profile

  4. Michele Morin says:

    I guess we all fall into the comparison trap from time to time (is it worse for bloggers than for others?), but you have certainly highlighted the “antidote.” Gratitude for what God has given!
    Thanks, Debbie, for reading.
    Michele Morin recently posted…One Weekend in JerusalemMy Profile

  5. Wendy says:

    Your title caught my eye and your post was something I needed to read. To be very honest, as a blogger I have struggled with the amount of time and energy I am pouring into the online space, and have been asking God if this is how he wants me spending those resources. He has graciously shown me that there are ways I can use my gifts for His glory, both on- and offline. As a semi-empty nester, I have found myself in a season of life with more opportunities than I ever dreamed possible, and choosing the “next right thing” can be overwhelming. This post was another in a series of confirmations that I don’t have to (nor does He expect me to) do everything that comes my way, but rather to seek what He wants and the rest will (eventually! 🙂 ) fall into place. This is my first time visiting your blog and I’m glad I found it!
    Wendy recently posted…Made to Last…45 Ways To Nurture the Mother / Daughter Relationship {Free E-Booklet Sneak Peek!}My Profile

    • Michele Morin says:

      Wow, Wendy, what an encouragement! I’m in a similar season of pondering the amount of time and energy I’m pouring into a keyboard, and trying to assess what God wants me to do with my time. I still have 2 children at home, so that adds to the pondering. I don’t want to short-change them at all. The difficulty comes in saying the word, “no” at the right time. Praying much for wisdom. Thanks for sharing your heart!
      Michele Morin recently posted…The Temporary DissonanceMy Profile

  6. Brenda says:

    oooh, I’m, not your bouquet girl, but I’ll make the macaroni & cheese and sweet tea. 🙂 I’m the same way, Michele…I’d love to be able to do gardens, whether flowers or veggies, but I just don’t have a green thumb. Love your thoughts..”God has equipped the body with abundance” with this “Rainbow of varied expressions.” Beautifully written, Michele. 🙂 Love this reminder to encourage one another in our gifts, b/c it’s all for His glory. ((blessings))
    Brenda recently posted…Sweet SomethingsMy Profile

  7. Michele Morin says:

    Thanks, Brenda, for chiming in here. We do encourage one another when we acknowledge the hand of God at work in a fellow believer — especially when their gifting is very different from our own. This kind of appreciation, I believe, is a great deterrent to the comparison trap!
    Michele Morin recently posted…The Temporary DissonanceMy Profile

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