Read His Words Before Ours!
I dare you to read the first chapter of Genesis and tell me that God is not creative.
His passion for uniqueness, for variety, diversity and color… All of these and more are evidenced by His incredible creation and by the intricacy with which He designed every single one of us.
Each eyelash, every freckle, and dimple.
He breathed us into existence; He lovingly fashioned every little quirk.
The full spectrum of human capability, passion and drive were at His beck and call, yet He chose and sculpted every facet of our individual being – yours and mine – because He saw that it was GOOD.
Make no mistake, Loves. He crafted every single part of us and He knows exactly how many hairs are on each of our heads…why wouldn’t He give us a passion for painting, a desire to make others laugh, a longing to write, or a love of cooking? He is a good father, and He gives good gifts of every kind! He crafted some of us with a love to work with our hands: cleaning, sewing, knitting, woodworking, glass-blowing. He gave some of us a burning desire to dance, to run (How I often wish He had given me a love for that!), to twirl batons, or teach others Zumba. He granted some of us a passion for putting things in order, for organizing, for decorating homes or making soaps and candles. These desires and passions fuel us and sustain us because they allow us to rest in something that we were designed to enjoy!
When we accept Christ, we are called to live fully and completely in Him, celebrating our Father’s incredible gifts and sovereignty. We honor Him when we cultivate the desires and passions He placed within us.
So why is it that we sometimes feel like we must deny the very heartsongs that God Himself wrote inside of us?
Why is it that when we admit to pursuing a God-given passion,
we frequently follow it up with an apology, an excuse, or an explanation
for why we are spending our time or resources pouring into whatever our “it” is?
Is it because we feel guilty for doing something that refreshes us or that may not be what we consider a “ministry” to others?
Is it because we think we are being selfish by resting and rejuvenating?
If those are our reasons, Loves, then we may have bigger questions to answer.
When we shun the good gifts that our Father gave us,
we are saying that we know better than Him.
When we pour into those gifts but feel the need to explain or excuse our time and resources spent, we are attempting to justify ourselves…and before long we find ourselves dangerously flirting with legalism.
Picture someone you care about deeply.
Your parent, sibling, child or friend.
You have been searching for their perfect birthday gift for months. It mustn’t be something generic, you love them far too much for that. It must be perfect and special and them. Finally, you find it! It is precisely the gift they don’t even know they need. You know when they use it, they will feel alive, vibrant and filled to the brim. You joyfully hand over your money and carefully take it home. Your eyes glisten as you wrap it in colorful paper, picturing how much joy they will glean from it. You painstakingly select a birthday card, one with beautiful prose and exactly the right sentiment, and you labor over signing it just so. Finally, the day arrives. You excitedly hand over your gift and hold your breath, waiting. They smile as they open it, and their eyes widen a little as they glimpse what is inside. They peek at the gift, and your heart drops as they close it immediately and set the box aside.
“It’s perfect! I love it so much!” they exclaim, but their actions shout otherwise as they push the box a little further away. “I will open it and look at it later tonight.”
“But, you need this right now! You can use it right now!” you respond.
Confusion is etched across your face.
“Oh, no, I couldn’t possibly use it. It’s much too nice to be used. I love it so much, but I’m going to leave it right in the box where it belongs.” Your friend picks up the wrapping paper and carries it to the trash.
“But, it is made to be used! That’s why I gave it to you, so you could use it! You will love it so much more if you use it!” You can’t wrap your mind around their attitude.
“Oh, maybe I’ll use it someday, when I’m older and have more time, but for now I’ll just open the box and look at it every so often.”
Ridiculous, isn’t it?
And yet, when we stifle the desires that God placed in our hearts for reasons of our own, we are effectively doing the same thing. As we go about this week, perhaps we should spend some time recalling the desires He placed within each of us. Consider writing down some things we have been putting on the back burner and ask Him if those are passions He gave us to pursue.
Doesn’t it make your heart beat a little faster to know that the Creator of the entire universe knows you, loves you and created you and the creative passions He stirs up in you?
And that He loves to watch us pursue and operate in those gifts?
He created us to enjoy those unique passions, and when we begin to cultivate and find joy in them, we delight His heart!
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