The idea of God giving gifts to anyone seemed so foreign to me. I believed God’s gifts were reserved for priests, nuns, saints, and laypeople who devoted their lives to God’s mission. A few weeks ago, I was at Sunday mass at my parish, and Fr. Andrew gave his sermon on 1 Corinthians 12:4-11:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to other varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.
Fr. Andrew left us with “Do not let fear stand in God’s way.” This really stuck with me and gave me much to reflect on. God gives us all gifts. Sometimes, we let our fear stop God from doing the work God wants to do in us. Who am I to stand in his way? I started thinking about fear and how it had impacted my life.
If I had given into fear I would have missed my calling as a teacher. A principal asked me to apply for a full-time position. I never thought I could be a teacher. Despite my fear, I said, “Yes!” I have now been a teacher for ten years. The more I grew in my relationship with the Lord, I realized he gave me the gift of fully seeing my students and being present for them when they need me.
More recently, I had the confidence to lean into childhood fears. When there was an opportunity to lead the Inner Chapel prayer group, I raised my hand without realizing it. I do remember feeling fear, yet I volunteered anyway. What if I had not become a teacher. What if I didn’t answer his calling 10+ years ago? Would I have missed this amazing opportunity and the beginning of life-long friendships.
In the five or so years since attending one of Becky’s workshops at RE Congress for the first time, the growth in my prayer life has been tremendous. I am so thankful to have this renewed perspective on gifts shared between God, me, you, and all of us.
One of my favorite lines from the Inner Chapel book is, “Each of us has the promise of being personally invited by Jesus into a relationship and being uniquely chosen and called into service to God according to our gifts.” The idea of God giving us gifts that are uniquely for us does not seem foreign anymore. The more you prioritize your relationship with God, the more you will see the blessings God continues to give you. So, I invite you to say, “Yes!” Do not let fear keep you from receiving the Lord’s gifts saved for you.
- Busy Lives & Restless Souls by Becky Eldredge
- The Inner Chapel: Embracing The Promises of God by Becky Eldredge
- Read 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11
Photo by Mateo Campos Felipe on Unsplash