As I had opportunity to visit with a friend a few days ago, she was excited to tell me how she wished I’d been able to be a part of the past fall’s weekly Ladies’ Bible Classes. In hearing her descriptions about the abilities of the teacher, I was reminded of the few times I’d been able to hear this one in particular and agreed she has a unique manner that leaves an unforgettable trail of thought, not only in my mind, but obviously also in the memories of most who have been in her classes.
That brought the even bigger image into my mind of the gifts God generously lavishes on each of us. In her telling me about the classes, my friend was sharing her own special abilities, though until I pointed it out, she’d not thought of it that way. She was showing her individual enthusiasm that another, using identical words, would not have come across in the same way, Further, though her approach was right on my wave length (so to speak) that shows that in my hearing, while another’s manner of telling might have reached into my heart, it might not have brought about the same wishful response her presentation did.
We immediately discussed how God uses each one of us to touch the hearts of people through our particular qualities. The person whose heart she touches may have an aversion to listening to me for some reason, although I cannot imagine why! =-) Perhaps she has a quieter, less “running for office” style than I. I simply love visiting with anyone and everyone in sight, generally immediately upon sight, including many strangers in stores. When I come home and tell my husband, we refer to it as, “I picked up another friend today.” (And I do have some lengthy friendships from such.) On the other hand, my assumption is that her style more likely would be a quiet, “Hi,” with a soft smile, if that, in a grocery line greeting. Yet, not only can God use whatever each personality we have, He created us, and, just as we are as well as those who will respond to the approaches we employ!
How great is that! To know that our Father God has created us in such a manner that not only are we the very ones to catch the attention, but also to help reach the hearts of certain people because God made us so! (This is not to say only one person per person; it’s simply to explain that different personalities appeal where others are less likely to get through, to be allowed “in”, to be “heard”.)
In verse 5 from John 15:1-17, Jesus has said “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” Though we can (and must) continue to learn from our own study of God’s Word and in being participants in classes such as the one mentioned at the beginning of this message, most of us do not have the identical abilities of those teachers we admire so very much (i.e. the sturdiest of branches). With prayer, study, and determination, God willing, some of us can become similar to the branches we much admire, because our teaching can develop and grow. I have not checked, but I suspect, rather like snowflakes, there are no two grapes exactly alike. Just so, we are not alike; therefore whether we are teaching as the teacher so many admire or as one who stands in a grocery store aisle with a quiet “Hi” and/or a smile that says, “I see you as a human being,” we are teaching.
Thank God for the opportunity to be His child as you remember the gifts HE has placed within YOU, and smile as you look forward to bearing more fruit.
M SUE MOORE