You are one of God’s gifts to the world
Many of us lead lives like rats in a race against time or hamsters sprinting on wheels; we do not know when to stop. When we eventually do, we find ourselves burnt out, and unsure of whom we have become and who we want to be. Truth be told, we have all, at some point in time, forget to feed, nourish, and care for our souls. As a result, we become quick to pull up our defences each time persecution, rejection or criticism confront us. Fear and doubt take up residence in our hearts.
If I told you, “You are a gift,” would you believe me?
If the answer in your head was “No,” you’re most definitely not alone.
For years, I struggled to acknowledge that I was made unique and gifted. I subconsciously rejected the notion that God, in His love and grace, would create me to be a gift and blessing to others. As I entered a new season after leaving my job last October, I finally figured out why this was so. In the process, God took the opportunity to renew my spiritual eyes to perceive myself the way He does, restoring my identity as a daughter and a gift.
I remember the very moment I paused to think about the concept of human beings as gifts of God: It occurred when God spoke to me during a church service saying, “You are a gift to the world.” Instead of being filled with awe at this revelation, my mind was strangely wrecked with doubt and unbelief. God continued unveiling this revelation, showing me the scene in the spiritual realm. I heard resounding trains of doubt ruthlessly seeking to cause train wrecks in the minds of those in the sanctuary; their inner resistance and unbelief was drowning out all clarity and truth. In that instant, my heart began to ache and weigh with a spiritual burden for God’s children (myself included) who have been blinded by lies and are rejecting their identities as gifts of God.
As I embarked on understanding the Father’s heart deeper, He brought me back to one basic truth: Right at the core of His heart is a deep desire to know us intimately. Knowing this, I proceeded to question my lifestyle and the mindsets I had about myself, and soon realised how harrowing my self-perceptions were. It was no wonder I seldom viewed myself as a gift to others, much less as a gift to the world.
Over many a late night, I would hear His voice speaking Jeremiah 1:5 tenderly over me, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart,” breaking the lies that held my mind captive. As the thick fog in my mind began to disperse, I was then able to receive the truth of Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
As I pondered and ruminated upon the truth of God, He revealed attributes of gifts that paralleled my being a gift from above:
Gifts differ in shapes and sizes
Just as presents come in different packaging, each of us are wired with varying characteristics, attributes, talents, personalities, and callings. We have to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else! Regardless of the colour of our skin, the language that we speak or the upbringing we have had, we must recognise that God made each one of us uniquely. Some of us are called to work as politicians, doctors or lawyers whereas others are called to be teachers, social care workers or janitors. Regardless of profession, skill set or position, you are more than able to flourish and be a blessing because God has gifted you with the power and ability to do so.
Today, will you take a moment to remember that God made no mistake when he created you? He gifted you with your strengths so you would always be reminded that you have something to offer and give even if everything in you says otherwise.
Gifts evoke joy
Most of us will not react with sadness or disappointment when we receive a gift. Instead, gifts naturally induce smiles, glee, laughter, and appreciation. Can you imagine people reacting to you in the same way, simply because they recognise the gift that you are?
We have received much from our heavenly Father and have been taught to “serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). Perhaps some of us have withheld serving others or being joy-givers due to the lack of confidence to see how God could use you in a given situation. I would like to encourage you with 2 Corinthians 9:8 which says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
As Frederick William Faber once said, “There are souls in this world who have the gift of finding joy everywhere, and leaving it behind them when they go.” May you become a carrier and gift of God’s contagious joy as you choose to abide in Him daily and submerge yourself in His relentless grace!
Gifts don’t always come wrapped in perfect ribbons
When we look at our lives, it is instinctive to focus on the imperfections, causing you to feel like an unwanted painting in the trash bin. And you know what? We’ve all been there. There will be moments where you will feel inadequate to give and be a gift; but even a gift wrapped in newspaper, without pretty ribbons, will suffice if you put your heart in it.
In order for us to be a gift, we need to first submit ourselves to the process of being unravelled. Akin to a box being taken apart for remodelling or re-creation for future use, the process of unravelling is often unsightly and painful as God takes apart our lives in order to remodel, recreate and remould us to become the gifts that we can be.
Sometimes, the process of unravelling involves coming to terms with specific issues in our lives that could possibly taint our vision and pollute the way in which we bless others. Jesus exhorts us in Matthew 5:23-24, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Yes, you might not look perfect or pleasant and might even need to humble yourself, but I believe that is the point of unravelling – coming apart. Surely, God doesn’t want our shortcomings, inabilities, or limitations to hinder us from being a blessing to others. Therefore, dare to throw off all that impedes you from sowing into the lives of others!
Just as God sent His gifts of love – Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit – to us, we have been empowered and made gifts for Him. Would you choose to be a gift, no matter where you are, no matter who surrounds you and no matter when the ocassion? May we never forget that we were made alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:8) to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-14) and witnesses (Acts 1:8) in our society. May we anticipate seeing the greater glory of God reflected through us as we recognise that He has made us unique gifts. You are a gift, my friend. Go forth and be the gift your Father has made you to be.