Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Stand Amazed!

     Many people have asked me how it was that I came to start writing devotions.  Being a wordsmith was not something I aspired to be so much as something I have done all my life.  Even as a young child, I loved to turn words around in my mind with my imagination running wild creating plays, essays  and poems.  In fact, I even wrote a play about the Christmas story which my sixth grade teacher produced and put on for all the parents.  Imagine doing that in today's schools!
     My mother encouraged me to sit down and write about my thoughts and feelings.  It was a way of venting when things were difficult.  If I had an argument with a family member, I wrote them a letter which helped me focus my thoughts.  By the time I was finished, I could throw that paper away because I had been able to expend my energy in a creative way rather than rushing in to a conversation with words that could deal a blow I would later regret.  So, in many avenues, writing has been an outlet, therapeutic, and creative all at the same time.
     I remember during my post-graduate studies that one of my professors said I was a terrible writer when it came to academic papers.  I didn't sound scholarly enough to suit him.  Nevertheless, I continued to write and pour myself into what I scribbled.  I wrote newsletters for a professional organization, and authored news releases.  I created a newsletter for homeschooling parents in our county writing the articles to encourage them and give them the latest information.  However, it wasn't until we got our first home computer that my penchant for sharing thoughts blossomed.
     A group of polio survivors (including myself) who were now dealing with Post Polio Syndrome decided to start a Christian email group to encourage one another.    It was not a large group, but we loved one another in the Lord.  Some in our group could not get out to worship the Lord on a regular basis, so I felt the Lord nudging me to use my gift of encouragement and write devotions to lift them up.  This is how it began some fifteen years ago.  I included my pastors in the email list so I could maintain accountability and eventually, church members asked to join my email list.  From there, it spread to many around the country who had received my devotions passed on to them by list members.  I did not set out to do more than use the gift which God had given me which was to encourage others.   A small offering to the Lord in my own eyes.  But God takes what little we have and multiplies it by His grace and power so that He receives all the glory.
     I am reminded of the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand found in Matthew 14:16-21:  "But Jesus said, 'They need not go away; you give them something to eat.'  They said to Him, 'We have only five loaves here and two fish.'  And He said, 'Bring them here to me.'  Then He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven and said a blessing.  Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.  And they all ate and were satisfied.  And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.  And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children."  This miracle appears in all four Gospels.  Jesus took what little the disciples had, He blessed it and then, multiplied it to meet the needs of the many who were gathered there.  That is what our gracious God does when we offer up whatsoever we have to Him for His glory!  He takes it, blesses it and applies it to those who have need.  To think that each one of us possesses a gift which God can use to bless others is amazing!

     Recently, a life long friend encouraged me to start blogging my devotions so that a wider audience might read what I write.  I wasn't certain about it but after prayer and sweet words of encouragement and instruction from her, I began in earnest to put my words out into the blogosphere that God may multiply and apply them to hearts as He desired.  I am but a servant in God's household.  I don't have all the answers, but I am a fellow pilgrim...a drop in the ocean of bloggers out there on the internet.  All I have to give are the words that God puts in my heart to share with others that they might be edified, encouraged and built up in their faith.  This is my mission and goal in which I find delight.  As you will notice on the left hand column of my blog home page,  I have a button that proclaims "I am an upside down blogger".  I hope you will click that button because it leads to a prayer that I have made my own.  I want the Lord to increase while I decrease just as John the Baptist spoke in scripture.  It is not for fame that I write, but for Him.
     God has a call for each of us to bring what we have.  Our time, our talents, our gifts may seem tiny in the sea of His greatness, but He will take what we offer like the loaves and fish and multiply it.  He will apply the healing, bring the salvation, encourage the brokenhearted, but He allows us to play a part in His grand plan.  How humbling!  How blessed!
     What do you have to bring to the Lord and lay at His feet?  You may think it is a small thing.  It could be something you never dreamed of doing.  I did not see myself as a writer.  My focus was to serve.  Take what you have and give it to Him.  He is the God who multiplies the small things to bless the many when we are obedient to Him.   At this, I stand amazed!   Selah!

Has God been speaking to your heart about using your gifts for Him?  If so, what do you plan to do about it?  I welcome your thoughts and insights.  Please let me hear from you that I might be encouraged too.

Photo of the keyboard  courtesy of


Christina said...

Amen, Barbara!

You certainly do have a wonderful way with words -- and, coupled with your tender heart for God you are a tremendous blessing to the body!

I love your message. Yes! Let us bring all we have to the Lord and lay it at his feet.

Love and blessings!

Barbara Thayer said...

Thank you Christina for your kind words. I pray that I always may be pliable clay in the Father's Hands each day. I don't ever want to miss His direction.

You also have a gift with words Christina. In fact, I love it that there are many of us who are now sharing what God has laid on our hearts so that we can encourage one another and all the more as we see His day drawing near. I am so thankful for that sweet fellowship we can draw from one another. Blessings my friend!!!

Rick said...

Beautiful message and encouragement. May God be pleased with what we bring. All is from Him and to Him. May I always use His gifts to please Him first and foremost, not always an easy task in blogville, but let it be always my desire. Thank you for the gentle reminder. Blessings!

Barbara Thayer said...

Thank you for stopping by Rick and for your comments. Whatever we have belongs to Him. It is wonderful how He takes our offerings and multiplies them. I hope you will come and visit again. Blessings!