gifts and gladness

How we reach a broken world with our gifts and the grace of god

Frederick Buechner said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” This is what I like to call "the sweet spot." We know when we are there. Some of my "sweet spots" are:

  • Leading worship on Sunday morning or at women's events
  • Helping women declutter their lives and make space for what's most important
  • Creating a warm, inviting environment for gathering with others
  • Encouraging others with my story and life lessons

I am so thankful for these moments in my life. I feel alive and energized. My life seems to be full of meaning and purpose.

Then there are the thousand other moments when I might not feel very passionate at all, but I know God is just as invested in my having a heart of love and service toward others. Here are some of those more challenging moments:

  • Taking a late-night phone call to listen to and encourage a family member or friend when I  just want to sleep
  • Making another meal when I'm not even hungry
  • Working through a relationship issue when I'd rather walk away
  • Coming through to rescue someone due to their own poor planning

I need to remember that Jesus is full of passion for me even on my worst days. Even when I've failed for the 1000th time in the same area. Even when I forget all that He's reminded me of before. Even when I am lazy and don't think through the consequences. Even, always, forever. Therefore, I can be like Him when I extend His love and grace in the less convenient and less glamorous situations.

The other thing that I want to remember  is that our gifts and passions are so varied! And God wants it that way. He's made us that way! Yes, we are all to have a passion for God and for living out His Word, but the myriad details of our lives are as unique as we are. Therefore, our lives will look very different from one another as we seek to follow God where we are. 

Paul's words about the many parts of the body emphasize that God is responsible for assigning us our place.

But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part!  Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 1 Corinthians 12:18-19

The most important thing we can do is be all for God wherever we are. In big ways and small ways, whether on stage or in the quiet of our home. We can love. We can listen. We can share the mercy and grace and forgiveness of Christ. Because the love of Christ is where God's deep gladness meets the worlds deep hunger.