Opportunities to…

Once or twice in a life time an opportunity comes along to say, “Yes” and a job merges with something that has been a life-long love. I am beginning a season like that. I am humbled that God would give me such a gift.
God has gifted each of us for service in His Kingdom. He did not pick out gifts haphazardly. He did not ‘match up’ gifts and child randomly. He has a plan. He has a purpose for our lives.
Peter was the leader in the family fishing business. In order for the family to survive, Peter must have had physical strength and tenacity to do whatever needed to be done. He would have fished in roasting heat and in frigid rain. He fished all night despite no return on his time and effort (John 21). Peter had gifts that gave him the ability to run a business and lead a family. That was the beginning of his service in God’s Kingdom. Peter was faithful in the ‘small thing’ of his family and so God gave him more as a leader in the Church. Was he perfect? Had Peter taken leadership classes and gained certificates and diplomas of achievement prior to his appointment by Jesus? Uh, no. In fact, Peter probably would not have been recommended for ordination or approved by the nominating committee to be in leadership in most churches. He did not support the status quo.
Mary Magdalene would not be beaten down or humiliated into keeping quiet. The assurance of Jesus’ forgiveness meant more than any approval from others. She was fearless to serve in spite of opposition. Her reputation was meaningless to her.
Paul had it all. (Read 2 Corinthians 11) He had a plan on a path for his life. Jesus knocked Paul off that plan. I do not think it is any surprise that Paul’s letters include testimonies about how he wanted to go visit a church there and God said, “No” and sent him here instead. Paul thought he would evangelize the Jews and God sent him to the Gentiles.
God will frequently mess up my plans. When He takes me from an area in which I believe myself to be strong and places me ‘out of my comfort zone’ so that I feel weak, then He is the only one who gets credit for the success. In my weakness, I rely on God to bring me through and direct my path. That is where God wants me to kneel so that He can lift me up to stand firm in Him.
God has gifted us to build His Kingdom. To not use His gifts for what He intended is, at best, a miss on the blessings and, at worse, disobedience. Will I worship (Romans 12) my LORD and Savior in my answer to His call? Or will I say, “No.”

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