Early this morning I was reading an article in Guidepost about a woman who pursued her dream of designing aprons. Half way through the article the author talked about picking up a book a friend had recommended and having the following phrase pop off the page: “God gave you gifts and the only way to bless others is to use them.” I finished the article, closed the magazine, and thought, that’s nice…glad the Lord encouraged her like that.
Shortly thereafter I went upstairs to figure out what to write for my portion of the June ACFW Colorado blog. I stared at my computer screen for a few minutes, opened Microsoft Word, positioned my fingers on the keyboard, then sat there as a blank piece of white, virtual paper stared back. What to write? What to write? I fidgeted in my chair a bit, toyed with some papers on my desk, then looked back at my screen. Nothing. As this whole staring-at-a-blank-piece-of-virtual-paper thing was not working, I decided to head downstairs and fix myself a glass of ice water.
While down there I thought what the heck, I’ll make myself a bagel and turn on “Judge Judy.” Maybe I’ll somehow get inspired that way. It didn’t work. After finishing my snack, I turned off the TV and headed back upstairs. Plopping down in my chair, I turned to look at the computer screen and mutter a quick prayer. “Lord, help me.”
Within seconds the phrase that jumped out at the Guidepost author, jumped out at me: “God gave you gifts and the only way to bless others is to use them.”
I looked around. “You talking to me, Lord?” I asked.
In my mind I could see Him nod.
“Hey, listen…” I started, “I understand what You’re trying to do here and I appreciate it, I really do, but we have a problem. You see, I don’t have those kind of gifts.”
The seed must die and fall to the ground, Jill. The voice in my head was quiet, yet firm.
It must die so it can produce many seeds.
I was getting desperate.
“What seed, Lord? I don’t know what You’re talking about! First You mention gifts, then You mention seeds. What seed to you mean?”
The seed of writing. You must either let that seed—that gift—die so I can multiple it through you and bless others, or you can keep the seed and settle for nothing more than one, fruitless trophy seed. The choice is yours.
“But I told You, I don’t have a seed like that.”
Yes, you do. Don’t bury it. Give it to Me, and allow me to plant it…to help it die so it can produce fruit.
As the Lord said that, in my mind’s eye I could see Him reach forward and pluck something from me—like one would pluck a grape from a vine. He then took what He plucked, knelt down, and pushed the object (along with His finger) deep into soft, fertile soil. Then He pulled His finger out, stood up, looked at me, smiled, and walked away. I wanted to dig up the seed, run after Him, and yell, “Hey, Lord, what was that all about?” But I didn’t. Not this time. This time I let it be.
I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Maybe an overnight writing miracle, maybe not. But in any case it really doesn’t matter, does it? All that matters is the Lord now has the seed and the rest, as they say, is HIStory.