If you hear the word gift(s), what is your first thought? As we are leaving the holiday season, it might be to think about your favorite Christmas gift or about the gift you forgot to get for someone.
Lately we have been thinking about God’s gifts to us. Aside from giving us His son that allows us to be close to Him, he also gifts each of with talents and skills to glorify Him, His kingdom and show other His glory. 1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-6 says:
Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed….There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
For several years, our family has felt called to love on those who, short-term or long-term, cannot be with their birth family. Recently we felt called to use our gifts differently, to love on kids and their parents in our home as foster parents. That’s the thing, our Father called us to care for widows and orphans, but he does not tell us how. Maybe that’s because we all have different gifts and talents that He needs us to perform for His kingdom.
Is using our gifts to love someone’s child as much as their parents exhausting? Is it tough to live day to day with uncertainty of when you might not get to see this kid anymore? Does your heart break as you attempt to speak for little ones who have no voice? Yes, yes and yes! Yet because of our Father and His community of believers choosing to use their gifts, we also experience love that fills your every pore and gives strength. For every ounce of excruciating pain, our Father, through His Spirit and body of believers piles on pounds of what you need. This does not remove the pain, but strengthens your faith, relationships and hope. You see His church pour out love in the form of prayer, clothing, toys, meals, babysitting, kind words, prayers, tears, diapers, respite care (giving a break for a night, weekend or week), prayers, a listening ear and did we mention prayers that renew your spirit.
As we begin to launch our church, Father, let us be people who can love others without judgment. Let us be the people who take in others, give to others, and support others. Let us be a church that constantly searches out our gifts, whatever they may be, and use them to the fullest. Encourage us to ensure that our gifts reflect the love you show for us. As 1 John 3:1 says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us that we should be children of God! And that is what we are!” We have been adopted as children of God. May we show our gratitude by loving others as He loved us.
This blog was written by Jeff and Katie Hayden, members of Redemption Church. Jeff and Katie live in Edmond, are avid OU fans, have been foster and adoptive parents of two dogs and current foster parents of a 2 year old.
–January 12th is a very big day for Redemption Church! Thank you for praying with us! For more information about the launch of Redemption Church and how you can pray for us, please click here.