“He Sees the Gift in You”
“‘How do you know me?’ Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, ‘I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.’”
John 1:48 (NIV)
When my brothers were small, they’d often tiptoe into my room and climb in bed with me at night. Home was hard at that time for all of us. We found sanctuary as we huddled close, and I told stories.
“Say a word,” I’d prompt.
“Dragon!” one little brother whispered.
“Forest,” said my other little brother.
Off we went on an adventure, as I wove a story about a fierce dragon caught in a forest, with two sweet boys hanging on every word.
I didn’t know it back then, but storytelling was a gift God placed in my heart. It wasn’t just a knack for telling stories, but something He would use for His purpose. On the nights when my little brothers and I snuggled in for a good story, He used my gift to calm their anxious hearts. Little did I know God would continue to use this throughout my life.
Likewise, Jesus knew a thing or two about gifting and purpose.
In John 1, we find Jesus in Galilee. Nathanael is walking toward Him, and Jesus calls out, telling all within hearing distance that Nathanael is a good man.
“‘How do you know me?’ Nathanael asked.
“Jesus answered, ‘I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.’”
Long before they met in person, Jesus knew all about Nathanael. He knew of his character. He knew his giftings. He knew this man had a purpose.
Jesus knows us. Isn’t that incredible?
Years ago, when I was telling stories to my brothers in the midst of a chaotic home life, I didn’t know it was a talent God had given me. I didn’t understand — until much later — that Jesus not only recognized those gifts but desired to help me mature them.
Maybe you can point out others’ gifts, but not your own? You don’t always recognize them, or they seem ordinary. Take heart, friend! Jesus recognizes them because His Father put them inside of you.
Nathanael (also known as Bartholomew) went on to become a disciple and friend of Jesus.
He traveled across India, Armenia, Ethiopia and Southern Arabia, sharing the gospel and drawing many to Christ. When he encountered Jesus, he stood under a tree minding his own business. As he trusted that Jesus knew him inside and out, it changed the direction of his life.
What gifts are inside of you?
They may seem ordinary, but not to your Creator. He sees your gift of hospitality. He sees your deep compassion. He listens as you create music or string together words with care. He delights that you are good with kids, a dreamer and planner, or that you have a natural ability to lead others.
Jesus sees those gifts, but we also play a part. I was a storyteller, and I could hide that gift away or hold it up to the One who loves me best.
I want to challenge you today …
- Acknowledge your gifts, even if they are in the beginning stages.
- Hone your gifts, even if there’s a learning curve.
- Then, use your gifts to draw others to a Savior who sees and knows them, and loves you as His own.
Jesus sees you, right where you are. He knows you and delights in the gifts unique to you. Hold your gifts up to Him today and trust He’ll use them in ways you may not even comprehend.
Dear Jesus, although my gifting seems small or rough-hewn, I will no longer hide this gift. But instead, I’ll hold it up to You, asking You to use it in ways that delight Your heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (NIV)