Nail by Nail

Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 NRSV    

Marie Curie was the first woman to receive the Nobel prize for her work in physics. George Washington Carver was an innovator of agricultural science. Just like them, God gave you talents you can’t imagine. He custom designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment. Dig like a gold miner the unique-to-you nuggets, talents, and gifts from your life.    

Growing up, each of the seven children in our family would have specific chores. Whether it was picking and canning fruits and vegetables or feeding animals, we all took part. When my father decided to add a new kitchen and family room onto our house, the boys were given tools for the task we had to perform. I was given a hammer, empty paint can, and a brick! Every day after school my job was to straighten nails that had been pulled from the used lumber my father was using. My youth didn’t deter him from giving me this job, he felt I had the ability.    

One look at your talents and the same can be said. Nail by nail, life by life, God is creating a kingdom, a “spiritual house”. He entrusted you with a key task in the project. Examine your tools and discover them. Your ability unveils your destiny. “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” (1 Peter 4:11 NRSV). When God gives an assignment, he also gives the skill. Study your skills, then, your assignment will be revealed.    

Today our church needs your talents. Are there no more songs that need to be sung, no more music to be played, no hungry mouths to be fed, or children to be taught the love and grace of our Savior? I ask you to heed that inner challenge. No one else hears it the way you do. Our Maker gives assignments to people, “to each according to each one’s unique ability” (Matthew 25:15). As he calls, he equips. Look back over your life. What have you consistently done well? What have you loved to do? Stand at the intersection of your affections and successes and find your uniqueness.     You certainly have one, or many. A divine spark. An uncommon call to an uncommon life. The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. So much for the excuse “I don’t have anything to offer.” Did the apostle Paul say, “The Spirit has given some of us …”? Or, “The Spirit has given a few of us …”? No! “The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others.”    

Don’t worry about skills you don’t have. Don’t covet strengths others have. Just extract your uniqueness. Kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you.

Jim Silvi, Lay Servant