I was thinking today about a time not so long ago when I was blogging like a mad-woman. I'd read a passage of the Bible and my mind would go into a storm of thought and inspiration and I'd have to share it. I had to.
I remember at the time feeling like I didn't have a real "gift" or "talent" that I could use. I'd think ridiculous thoughts like, "People paint, they write books, they make crafts, they excel in sports... and what do I do? Write Bible-inspired blog posts? Not exactly something you can wrap up and send as a gift." I embraced it though and thoroughly enjoyed the joy of knowing my God more and more as I would read my Bible. I came to love knowing that I was given a non-tangible gift of encouraging others in truth.
Then came some really hard times. And I backed off the blog because I really didn't know what to write. I'd read my Bible and weep, not write. That season of overwhelming inspiration was gone. A new season of walking through the valley of the shadow had come. And all I could do was walk. Not talk. Not share. Not edit. Not even meditate. All I could do was put one faith-foot in front of the other and keep walking my way through the scriptures and cling to the rocks of truth that promised me I wasn't abandoned.
That dark season has passed, and the prolific writing seems to have gone with it. I miss it. Not so much the writing but the hearing of truths that shook me and bubbled out of me and were constantly on my mind. People have been so encouraging about the soap-making that I've embarked on. I'm really glad they like it. I like making something tangible that is a blessing to someone else. But I look back on the days when all I could give was an encouraging word and I realize what a gift that is, not only for the recipient, but for the giver. It really is more blessed to give than receive. And the word fitly spoken really is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Nothing is more satisfying to my soul than hearing the Living God speak through the words he's preserved for millennia. And when you can give that away... it's just the best.
My friend and pastor is leaving for Costa Rica tomorrow to give away the best gift ever! Those folks are so blessed.