When you love junk and old furniture as I do and you make it as widely known as I do your phone will ring and texts will come telling you about discarded treasures. They are some of my favorite notifications. My close friend was gifted with a house full of furniture from her uncle (don’t we all wish for a relative like that!?) Anyway, this meant she was getting rid of tons of her old furniture. When I saw this dresser, I had to have it. I mean look at the hardware. Some girls are a sucker for diamond and gold jewelry; I’m a sucker for furniture jewelry. Luckily for my husband, it’s much cheaper. 😉
I promptly went to her house and loaded up this beat up beauty into the back of my car, not even waiting for my husband to help with his truck. I was scared someone else might snatch it as she offloaded a whole garage full plus some of furniture. When I got home, I stuck the dresser under my porte-cochere and left it there until I could figure out exactly what I was going to do with this FREE gift. Sure, it needed a little TLC, but I appreciate a good project. I was thinking of a spot in the living room or more likely an undecorated corner of my bedroom. Life happened and the dresser sat.
Then Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. As you know that storm was a big one, causing catastrophic devastation across the south. Our family was blessed to have no major problems besides a ton of rain. Well, except for the free dresser. The sideways rain reached under the covered carport and after being in the damp dank outdoors for so long, the dresser warped, peeled and cracked. It lost all chance of an easy makeover. The veneer was buckled, and the entire top warped almost completely off.
What in the world was I going to do with this thing now? I took more time, and the state of the union got worse. Finally, I decided to forgo the major overhaul it needed at this point and move the dresser to the front porch. I would likely never put a perfectly good conditioned dresser out there for fear it would ruin, but that ship had already sailed here. Another month passed and I finally decided to paint the now-defunct dresser.
After chipping away at the veneer and wood already hanging on by a thread, a fresh coat of chalkpaint brought a worn and weathered freshness to this piece of furniture. It’s been a while since God and I talked over a quart of paint, but as I stroked my brush I asked God what the lesson was for me in this dresser. I knew an important story was buried in the layers of chippy veneer. And he quietly told me to look at the other free gifts I disregard.
I know exactly what he means. I would have never gone to the store, paid money for a dresser and came home and left it outside even if it where under cover. I would have stored it in my house, away from the threat of a storm, until I found a spot for it, careful not to bang and bruise the new furniture as I moved it through my home. But free. Well, there is really no loss there. No skin in the game. I completely and utterly took this gift for granted. The good news is, all was not lost. I was able to salvage the dresser and use it in what I think is a super cute and fun way. But what gift am I overlooking? What gift are you overlooking? What was God referencing? I think I know…
You see each one of us is created uniquely with a special set of gifts and talents. We each hold a gift that God lovingly places inside of us and us alone. No one else can do exactly what it is you can do. Your talent is not your own. It was given to you by a loving father with nothing expected in return. But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
Nothing is lost in God’s economy. The talent you harbor inside, the special gift you hide away until you have time for it later…it’s never lost. But it is up to you to pull the free gift you’ve been given into safety, into the light and into use. You can bet a storm will surely come. Maybe a Cat 5 already hit you and you think there is nothing left to offer. I often wonder, why do we hide or downplay the talent God gifts us with? Why do we belittle our talents? Why do we put off using our talents? Why do some act like they have no talent at all? That is NEVER true. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
Guess what? If you are good at something it’s not because of your own doing but because God chose that gift for you. It’s God’s way of individually blessing each one of his children and it’s through this gift that we are to bless others. This twist of a circle always amazes me. God gifts us so we can gift others, but the way we are called to gift fills us up and blesses Him. How crazy loving is that? What a kind father. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, Ephesians 6:7
He doesn’t ask us to serve in ways that feel like torture, no he assigns each one of us a unique role to bless his kingdom. Do you ever sit and wonder what the point is?She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. Proverbs 31:17 Do you ever wonder what you can do to serve God and his kingdom? You needn’t look further than your craft closet or hobby list. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. 1 Corinthians 7:7
Sister, if you can cook then love your people through your kitchen, if you can quilt then sew up some love, if you can dress to the nines then help cloth a clueless girlfriend, if you can sing then come to my house and serenade me (oh how music fills me, but I truely have no talent here!). We have to stop taking our gifts for granted. We have to stop making it harder than it is. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. Romans 12:4-6
We need to be able to say, “I am good at _______!” Because God made us that way, not out of puffed up pride, but out of gratitude and praise. Own that gift, share that gift, serve with that gift and show thanks to a generous father who desires goodness for you all the days of your life. It’s never too late to pull your dresser from the storm and put it to work. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
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