For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Meet Jethro. He's a German Shorthaired Pointer and the youngest of our three pups. My husband and I don't have kids, so our dogs have nicely assumed the role of children. He's almost 2-years-old, and at this point, I'm not sure that he'll ever truly grow up. He's inexhaustible, so on most days, I try my best to walk him at least 2 miles, just so that we can stand to live with him. It's not that we don't like him. In fact, he's the most loving and affectionate of our dogs. He's a companion, through and through.
It's just that, when we first moved into our new house in a new city, we noticed that Jethro was pacing the floor, darting from one front window to the next, over and over again, for hours, days, weeks! We'd scold him and force him to lay down on his bed, but as soon as we turned our backs, there he was, pacing again! Back and forth! Back and forth! He was making us crazy with his restlessness!
One day, I wondered, "What is so exciting that he constantly feels the need to be peering out the window? He's the nosiest neighbor on the block!" (And, in a competition with me, that's saying something!)
So, I crouched down right beside him. We were head-to-head. And, I followed his lead, looking out one window and then running to the next.
Doves! We had a covey of doves nesting in the shrubs in our flower beds. There was a whole swarm of them! A dozen, at least!
Finally, we knew why our pup was behaving like a maniac! He was doing what God created him to do -- hunt birds. He used every open window to sharpen his hunting instincts. He was driven to victory by scouting out and pointing those little flighty fiends. And finally, we just gave up and adopted the motto, "You can't take the bird outta the dog!" So now, sweet little Jethro spends a mere 4 hours a day hunting birds from the comfort of his climate-controlled home.
For us to require poor Jethro to not do what God made him to do would be ridiculous. He had the instincts, the talents, and the abilities to sniff out and hunt down a bird from miles away. Regardless of my aim to control him, he's always gonna be a bird dog! There's just nothing I can do to stop that.
Friends, guess what I've learned lately? God's gifting of us works in the same way. God has created each of us with unique talents, abilities, and skills. He's made each one of us to be His workmanship, or masterpiece. And, like Jethro, He's given us jobs to do that will use those skills.
I'm in a season of searching right now, and maybe you are, too. I'm seeking God boldly to find out how to use my talents, abilities, and skills in my new hometown. Care to join me?
May God, the Author of our stories, be a Lamp to our feet today and a Guide to our eternal futures.
Here's to praying!