My husband and I are in the middle of a three-week Spiritual Gifts class at our church, and boy has it been eye-opening! I can’t help but feel like God is just waiting to nudge me in the direction He has in mind for me, not because of anything I’m learning about myself but because of what I’m learning about Him. With each assessment or exercise we’ve done in the process of identifying our spiritual gift(s), one thing has been validated time and again: God is near, and He always has been. Despite the times I have felt like I’m just blindly going through the motions, or the times when my belief has been sustained purely by faith and not by sight, God was there. He hasn’t left me.
Do you ever just go back and look at the big picture of your life thus far? I hadn’t really, until recently. Seven or eight weeks ago I was working on my homework from Beth Moore’s James: Mercy Triumphs Bible study. On this particular day, she asked us to choose a period of time from our own lives that had proved to be very strategic in our journeys toward or with Christ and then to make a timeline of that period of our lives. She told us that this exercise would “remind [us] how faithful and intentional [our] God has been toward [us],” and she was right. I was so blessed to see in hindsight the progression of my Christian growth and how it was all because of God being intimately involved in my life every step of the way.
Again today God reminded me of His nearness as I completed some homework for my Spiritual Gifts class. The exercise was to list my top five to seven most meaningful and positive life experiences and to explain why each one meant so much to me–and then to search for any recurring themes among them. I listed five things that would at first glance seem fairly disconnected. But as I looked at why these experiences were so meaningful to me, I saw a common thread running through them all. All five experiences had resulted in a validation of God’s nearness.
I am humbled to think that the God of the universe wants to be with me. I am overwhelmed by the thought of Him knowing me intimately and having specific purposes for my life. As the Psalmist said, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (Psalm 139:6 NIV).
I know full well that taking a Spiritual Gifts class is not necessarily going to bring upon me some grand epiphany that will suddenly alter the course of my life. But I also know well that this is all part of the beautiful process of walking with God through life. Slowly, patiently, and purposefully He is molding me into the woman He wants me to be. The most I can attain to in the meantime is to simply cooperate with Him in the process.