Burying Your Talent?

I just keep thinking about the servant who buried the talent that his master entrusted to him.

His excuses are on repeat in my mind:

  1. Master is a hard man
  2. Master reaps where he does not sow
  3. Master gathers where he scattered no seed
  4. Fear-- the servant was scared.
He hid that one talent under a heap of justification of why he did nothing with his master's talent.

I'm standing over the gravesite of the hidden talent, and I hear, "Even here, I can still do it."

God can still do it in the graveyard of broken dreams and forsaken goals.

He can, and He did.

Let's go through the list:
  • Abraham was one-hundred years old when he had Isaac. We all know Sarah's womb was defunct at the age of ninety-nine. That alone should encourage us that impossibility is not an issue for God. He is able.
  • Noah had no idea how to build an ark, but God instructed him-- God gave him the blueprints to make it happen.
  • Gideon hid from the Philistines, but God called him a mighty warrior, who then led an army of 300 men that defeated forces more than ten times their size.
  • Because of God's grace in his life, Joseph climbed the social ladder from the prison to the palace.
  • The walls of Jericho, the most fortified town of that time, came down with shouts of praise from an otherwise ill-equipped people.
  • John the Baptist had no Instagram, no Facebook live feed and no Twitter following. In the desert, he just had his voice to bring about repentance in Israel, and the masses came.
Now that's just about 0.000000000000000009% of God's resume. He did so much more with the outcast and the overlooked.

And He's willing to do greater with you.

It's not complicated. Yes, it's hard, but the excuses that are holding you back, the reasons you think God cannot do it, are the very reasons why He wants to do it through you.

There is nothing (inward or outward) that can disqualify you from God's calling over your life; if there was, that would mean the cross is useless: Jesus would have died for nothing then.

But that's not the truth. His blood covers everything-- a multitude of sins and excuses.

You are free to do what He assigned you.

Even in the graveyard, under all the dirt and mess you've placed above your talent, God can and will do it here and now.

And I know that the excuses don't disappear. If they do, they come back more sinister, more warped than before, but God is not intimidated by them. Neither should you be.

If the servant was willing to not just acknowledge his justifications, but challenge them as well, those lies would have fallen away.

Maybe the Master's goodness would have been revealed to him if he took that one step. Maybe the servant would have noticed his Master's hand in places that he thought were void of the Master's workings. Maybe the fear of upsetting the Master would have gave way with the realization that remaining stagnant, living stuck pissed Him off so much more than making a mistake.

Excuses are reality until they are not.

When you take that first step you realize, "It's not as bad as I made it out to be."

Yea, you don't have the funds, but that's not your forever.
Yea, you aren't good enough now, but that's not your forever if you choose to invest in it anyway.
Yea, you have five followers, but if you keep typing, keep speaking, keep going that number can grow.

But you'll never know if you keep the talent buried; if you hide the light He's placed inside of you, the circumstances that keep you timid will not change.

What are you waiting for?

You're in the most perfect position; yes, knee deep in dirt is perfect. Water that talent with the Word of God. Feed it with your dedication and discipline. Let His light shine through it, and watch it grow.

Here, Now

There is no other place than here, there is no other time than now that God wants to do a good work in you.

We love to believe that what God calls us to do couldn't possibly begin where we are right now. Compared side to side, God's vision for our lives supersede our resources, our budgets, our circumstances, and our qualifications. 

It's impossible from where we're standing, so we try to move ahead of God all in the name of helping God to get to a place where we are better able to handle His call.

But what we seem to forget is that where we stand is exactly the same place where God wants to begin the work in us.

In the bible, God met everyone exactly where they were and did wonderful things with them EXACTLY WHERE THEY WERE.
  • Joseph, the favored son and hated brother, was forced into slavery but still came out on top
  • David, the harp player for the king, was on the run as a fugitive from the king and still got the crown
  • Moses, the Hebrew masquerading as the Egyptian prince, turned into a murderer but still became a deliverer 
All because God simply chose them. They had no resume that would get them hired in the earthly realm. If they would have run for their destined position, man would have told them no.

But God said yes because He knew what their resumes and budgets didn't show. He knew what their circumstances tried to keep quiet about. He knew what their resources lied about.

He knew that they were able because He was the one to place that gift inside of them in the first place.

God was the one to give Joseph his dreams.
God was the one to anoint David king.
God was the one to give Moses the burning desire to deliver Israel.

It didn't matter what anyone else said because God had already said yes to them before the foundations of the earth were laid down.

God doesn't need you to be anyone else but who you are, who He created you to be.

He knew your hang-ups, your insecurities, your fears, and He said yes to you.

God said yes to you in that dry place, in that quiet place, in that inactive place. He said yes to you as you. He wants no one else but you.

And if you would just trust in that, that He wants you, God will do amazing things through you because the world needs you just the way you are.

We're waiting for you.

Joyful Beginning

There is joy in the beginning. There has to be if God rejoices when the work begins.

But His joy doesn't translate so well to us. While He's excited that the capstone is being set, we are already envisioning the completed structure. So much so that when we look up and realize that we're still in the process of becoming, we're still under construction, we're still not there yet, we get frustrated, and the wrath from not being at the finish line zaps the grace for the muddy middle.

Or sometimes we don't even begin because the time it would take to become is a waste in our eyes- especially if we can find a short cut through the awkward beginning and the mundane middle.

We just want to BE already. We don't want to be under wraps. We don't want to be growing.

We want to be the sky-scraper, not the skeletal framework. We want to be the rose bush, not the seed. We want to be the masterpiece NOW.

But it doesn't work like that. Even the earth- as massive as it is now- followed the basic rules. There is a beginning, a middle and an end. There is no other way around this order.

Each master was once an amateur, a beginner, a novice, who had no clue what to do but began anyway in the spot they found themselves in- no matter how inconvenient, how bare, how small their spot was.

They started with what they had and grew from that. And as they grew, doors opened up and resources flowed in to match their growing talent.

But it wouldn't have happened if they didn't commit to begin each day that came their way.

The novelty (or for some people, trepidation) of the beginning wears off as the middle settles in and discourages some from their destination.

But you have to remember that you're closer than you were a day, a week, a month, a year ago. You're closer than you were.

And I guess that's where the joy comes in. When you set your foot down and say "I'm becoming an author" or "I'm moving to Los Angeles" or  "I'm opening up a bakery" or whatever is screaming inside your heart right now to be brought out, when you set your foot down in determination, with commitment, you are one step closer than you were.

Yea, you just started but that capstone marks a new chapter in your life.

Celebrate that each day because those steps bring you closer to where you want to be.

And think about it- God who is omniscient, who knows the end in the beginning, is the same One who is at the beginning with you, celebrating. He's happy that you started. He's not at the end, at the finish line, tapping his foot, waiting impatiently for you.

He is with you from the very beginning. He's in step with you, excited as you unfold in the journey.