I’m going to share a beautiful mantel decorated with dried roadside flowers and vintage brown glass vases mixed with new amber ball jars today, but really this post is about so much more than that. I hope you’ll take a minute to spend with me…
Do you wonder what your purpose is? Do you ever sit at home alone and wonder if it even matters that you know how to paint or sew, that you are an exceptional cook or maybe amazing at jewelry design. Maybe you aren’t super crafty but generosity pours out of you and sometimes that just doesn’t feel like enough. Women struggle with being enough at whatever it is they do and it is such a shame. I struggle too.
These last few weeks I have been dwelling on rats that pull out their own hair. They are racing around my thoughts like they do on a wheel in their cage. I know this likely sounds odd, trust me, it’s odd to me too, but there is so much significance and peace these rats have brought me. I’ll explain. Someone so near and dear to my heart is suffering with hair pulling. As I have learned about this sad affliction I’ve been in awe of God even more. You see there are rats that pull out their own hair and when the disease state is really bad they pull out their neighbors hair as well. These rats are the first thing that got my heart.
God made rats with the exact same affliction as humans so that we can learn and cure people. There is no coincidence in the fact that the solutions they have found to be good for the rats are also good for people with the same problem. But who in the world noticed that there were rats that pulled their own hair and thought, “I’m going to dedicate my life to studying them so I can help people with Trichotillomania.” Well, someone with a very specific gift from God if you ask me and they are the second thing that stole my heart this week! I’ve been so grateful for this call on a stranger’s life lately. So thankful for the way God weaves us all together to fit each other’s needs. And really so thankful for those that listen to the call on their lives and pursue it even when it seems hard or odd. I mean, can you imagine being at a party and telling people you study rats that pull hair for a living? Sounds so peculiar. Even though, medical gifts seems so important and hold so much value in the world. I mean curing cancer seems like a way bigger deal than being able to make a gorgeous wreath right?
But what does this have to do with you and your amazing ability to knit? EVERYTHING friend. I hear women all the time (and am guilty myself) of downgrading their God given gift, usually by saying, ” I just _____” or “I only know how to _____”. Friend you only know how to do the exact thing God wants you to do. It’s about how you use the talent, not the talent itself. We were not all created to be doctors or scientist.
If you dig into the pages of Exodus, which admittedly can be a bit of a snooze fest in places…a cubit of this and fifty loops of that…details I often skim over, there are some words that are waiting to grab your attention. God tucked nuggets for you and me right in the beginning of the Bible when he introduced Bezalel and Oholiab. These are not the guys discussed Sunday morning at church, but they are our people friend! When God was telling Moses EXACTLY how to build the Tabernacle he introduced these two men by name and they are described in the Bible as follows:
Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.” Exodus 35:30-35
Here we are, two chapters into the Bible and God is laying out the important details about creativity. He’s making sure we all know that artistic crafts are a gift from him, they matter, they are meant to be used and shared. God is a decorator! 🙂
If you read further in Exodus you will see that other skilled craftsman gathered to use their talents to help build the Tabernacle. This is where passion meets purpose and if the question I posed in the beginning haunts you, here is your answer. Are you using your gift to help build the kingdom? Are you sharing, blessing or teaching the knowledge and talent God imparted on you with others? There is no shame or guilt in decorating your home or blessing someone with a handmade good. This is EXACTLY the way God called people together in the very beginning! Your talents and fruit of your hands are enough. You are enough. No matter how small or strange your gift may seem it was given to you by a loving God that sees how you fit in the puzzle of life, even when you don’t. I promise, the doctor who studies rats has no idea the thanks I have given for him. You never know the impact you might have when you say YES.
It took an army of people to build the tabernacle, wood workers, jewelry makers, painters, seamstresses, silversmiths, generous people who brought fine linen, jewels and materials. A team of people to build and create the dwelling place of the Lord and heaven knows someone had to feed these hungry workers! How much do we need the Lord to dwell in the midst of this broken world today? You are a part of building His kingdom here on Earth.
I implore you to think about whatever talent you write off or dismiss and stand proud instead. Not proud in yourself but proud that God entrusted you with something special and march out today and share that gift with someone as a means of sharing the gospel. Build a dwelling place. That is your purpose. And it is more than enough.
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