When my first child was born someone gave me a baby gift that stayed in the drawer for a long time.
Because I didn’t know how it was meant to be used.
It was two hour-glass-shaped pieces of flannel sewn together, with filling in the middle like a quilt, but it wasn’t large enough to be a blanket. When I showed my husband the gift he shrugged his shoulders. I stuck the thing in a drawer. One day the gift giver said, “Do you like the burp rag I made you?” Aha!
I had the same experience with my spiritual gift. I got it, and it even had a name, but I put it in the drawer for decades because I didn’t know how it was meant to be used.
A spiritual gift is God’s way of working through His followers to make Himself visible. A spiritual gift is to be used as a service, to build up the church. (See 1 Corinthians 12, if this is a new thought to you.)
Some of us receive the spiritual gift of faith, which means we have an extra dose of confidence that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. Faith is my gift.
But how does a person with an extra dose of faith serve others with that gift?
One day the Gift Giver spoke to my heart and said, Use this gift of faith to serve those who are struggling to believe Me. Their faith is weak, and you have just what they need.
I began to notice God would bring across my path people who were in a crisis of faith, and it was my job to speak confidence to them.
My cousin, in his early 40’s, decided to pursue the passion God had put on his heart a few decades earlier, to enroll in medical school. With a wife and four daughters, this was a massive step of faith. I encouraged him to act, if he felt this was what God wanted him to do.
He was accepted to medical school and soon left his family in Montana, to attend school on a lonely island in the Caribbean. For two years he worked to trust God through this experience, and I partnered with him to get him through it. Every single day I got up and sent him an email of encouragement that I was praying for him. I spoke words of courage and faith.
I have also encountered people who were struggling to believe God would provide for their physical needs or would heal their brokenness or would reveal the direction they should take.
I recently made a new friend just as she was working through some incredibly difficult experiences from her past. I know God brought us together so I could be a servant of faith as she walked through challenges of forgiving and finding healing from past hurts and learning to move forward in wholeness. I prayed for her regularly for a year, rejoiced in what God was doing in her life, and spoke hope that God would bring her to the other side of pain.
Often God brings me people who are in a waiting season, and I speak faith that God is still present and still working in their lives. God has gifted me with a huge imagination, like that of a kid, and I use this to help people imagine God’s promises coming true.
I am an avid reader of Christian biographies and autobiographies, so I tell people stories of what God has done in the lives of others. I often find myself saying, See how God helped this person through a trial like you’re experiencing? I know God will help you in the same way.
I help people look up and forward in a difficult time, like Samwise Gamgee to Mr. Frodo, in Tolkien’s The Two Towers:
“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”
Some of us were meant to be the Samwise Gamgee, the faith builders.
Do you have an extraordinary amount of faith?
You need to know this is not just for your own enjoyment. You have a responsibility to share this grace of God with your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Keep your eyes open for those who are worn out in trusting God. Start looking for people around you who need someone else to help them regain their confidence in God’s promises. They need your sturdy backbone of faith to support them through challenging times.
Don’t let your faith sit in the drawer. Pull it out and offer it to others.