I watched as the car turned slowly into my neighbor’s driveway, and saw her gently slide out of the backseat on her husband’s arm.
My friend had an emergency appendectomy two days ago. What a shock it must have been. But now, her two young boys and husband were rejoicing at her safe return. I rejoiced too, but I was concerned about her recovery.
How could I help her? How I wish I had some amazing talent that would take away her pain or put her at ease. Anything I could think of just didn’t seem good enough.
I could cook a dinner. That seemed like such a small thing. I’m not a very inventive or adventurous cook either. But I had to admit I couldn’t think of anything else.
Her husband answered the phone. He sounded so relieved when I offered to cook. “Can you bring a dinner tonight?” I quickly agreed, but as I hung up, I wondered what I could throw together on such short notice.
Two hours later, I walked up to my friend’s front door with a tuna noodle casserole, salad and some rolls. I felt a little embarrassed to offer such a plain meal, but it was taken gratefully.
Later that week, one of her boys returned my dish along with a note. My friend wanted the recipe for the tuna casserole! I was so surprised that I just stood there with the card in my hand for a few seconds. The dinner was so simple, yet it was so appreciated.
This experience taught me a lot about the talents that God gives all of us. Hoping to bring some joy and comfort to a friend, I longed for a huge, flashy gesture that would sweep in and solve every problem and pain. Sometimes I think the bigger the talent, the better it is. But I’m so wrong.
God celebrates every word and work I do for someone else. He doesn’t value my gifts and talents in terms of size. Everything I offer is important and precious to him. He loves to see me use what he has given. Not only do I serve his precious people, I also glorify his wonderful gift.
I may not be a gourmet cook, but the Lord knew this family didn’t need a chef. They needed a hot meal to celebrate a homecoming. If I hadn’t made that call, their first night home might have been a little more chaotic.
I know I’ll look at my God-given gifts differently now. Every single ability I have reflects the life of the one who gave them to me. How can I think that they are not good enough? My Father gives a share of his gifts to all his people in the Spirit. They are all beautiful, powerful and necessary because they are all his. So now it’s up to me to spread his life my applying those gifts given so generously.
Instead of busily measuring them, I need to get busy using them.
I may never know how much my talents are appreciated, but that night, I did. I found out that the simple gift of a casserole was as precious as a pot of gold.
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