Devotion for the Week...
When I'm sewing together the blocks for a quilt, I often stop to put the pieces I've sewn side by side on the table so I can get an idea of how the block will look when finished. Once the blocks are finished, I lay at least some of them out together to get a feel for how the whole quilt will look. And then, even though I previewed the blocks, once I start sewing the rows together I lay them out too. There's something satisfying about seeing the seam allowances disappear with each step and with seeing it come closer and closer to how it will look in the end.
Even though I have a pattern that tells me what the quilt will look like, it's still exciting to see the pieces I've cut become what I intended for them to be.
Putting a jigsaw puzzle together feels kind of the same. You (usually) have a picture on the box that shows you exactly what the finished puzzle will look like, but it's still exciting to actually put the pieces together and see the image emerge on the table. Paul and Zach are currently working on a mystery puzzle, one that has clues in the picture to help solve a mystery in a story that came with it so they don't have the picture on the box to guide them. That makes it even more interesting to see the pieces come together to create the image.
The apostle John wrote, "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). What we will be has not yet been made known. I find that interesting.
If we believe in Jesus as Savior, then we are children on God. We are saved. That is what we are. And yet what we will be is still something of a mystery to us. I see two ways of looking at that mystery. First, there is the mystery of who we will become in this lifetime and then there is the mystery of who we will be after death. I tried looking at both in one post, but it was getting monstrously long, so we'll look at in this lifetime today and leave what we will become after death for next week.
I firmly believe that God designed each one of us with a plan and that we all have special abilities that He gave to us specifically for that plan. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul wrote about the different gifts in the church, about how members of the church are all part of the body and about how all of the members of the body are important even though they serve different functions. God's plan for you is different than His plan for me, which is why we have different abilities and interests.
What we do with those interests and abilities will determine who we become. Do we pursue those interests, fulfilling His plan for us or do we shy away from them, thinking we're not good enough in some way to be able to succeed at what we want to do? Do we spend our time wishing we had different abilities, ones that maybe we value more or that we think the world values more? The truth is that the more we embrace the gifts He gave us, whatever they are, the more we can become who He wants us to be.
For example, I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Mom says I was 4 when I announced I would be a writer and my brother would be my publisher because then I wouldn't have to bother finding one 😀 As a teenager I devoured books on writing well and spent hours writing in my journal and starting stories. I also read voraciously and developed a real love for fantasy novels. By the time I went to university, I wanted to write fantasy novels along the lines of Terry Brooks, David Eddings and Robert Jordan. By the end of university, I had scaled back that desire a little, to writing fantasy novels for children, not because writing for kids is easier, but because the story lines tend to be much less complex than adult fantasy, which suited my writing. But that didn't work out either.
I could have given up, but the desire to write was in my bones. Even though I spent years writing little more than the odd journal entry, the longing to be a writer wouldn't go away. Then I started this blog and set myself the goal or writing a devotion for every Monday. I love writing these devotions! Thinking constantly about what I'll write next has me noticing connections between the Bible and everyday life in ways I never did before and it has me thinking more deeply about what I read in the Bible. I also love hearing from you about what I write here and seeing which devotions resonate with you.
Where will my writing go from here? I honestly don't know, but I believe God has a plan for it. He's the one who gave it to me, after all. What abilities has He given you? How are you using them? Has that changed over time?
God knows who He wants us to become. He knows how He wants to use us and the gifts He has given us. The question is, are we working with Him and allowing Him to shape us into who He wants us to be?