Significant…Every One

“Significant,” ©Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission

© 2017 Lynn Abbott

Call it what you will…It has been one of those.

You know; I’m sure you’ve experienced it.

It’s that kind of week that you find yourself chanting with Judith Viorst’s protagonist, Alexander, “It has been a no good, terrible, very bad day. I think I’ll move to Australia.”

Perhaps, like me, you’ve faced the kind of seven-day stretch during which Murphy and his inopportune law arrive in town, and threaten to take up permanent residence.

It seems nothing you do turns out right.

This past week, I even found a way to mess up the coffee maker. That’s right…coffee and grounds all over the counter. Late night cleaning promptly ensued.

So it was. And I sighed as I reminded my college aged son that despite pressing mid-term deadlines, sleep is a good thing.

He cleverly deflected my advice with a question, “You okay, mom?”

Yep, it has been one of those, and, you know I took the bait.

“Actually” I admitted, “It has been a terrible, no good, very bad week. Quite honestly, I can’t seem to do anything right. I even feel like throwing my painting into a dark basement corner.  And I’m so tired. What difference does my work make in the world?”

I suppose we’ve all been there at some point or another. Surely others have wondered if their work, their everyday tasks, their daily activities make any difference.

My recent reading in 1 Samuel reminded me that God uses even the seemingly insignificant for incredible purposes.

You, too, may have asked, “What difference does my work make in the world?”

Indeed, I think it likely that a young teen named David wondered about his work’s importance.

The youngest of eight sons, David probably fell low on the totem pole. When chores were handed out, he received the least glamorous assignment: shepherding the family livestock.

Thus, David spent his days out in the fields with extremely dull companions–sheep. You betcha. Watching sheep graze is nearly as exciting as “watching grass grow.”

Periodically, something would happen to mix things up. Scripture tells us that David had killed both lion and bear in defense of the sheep, (1 Samuel 17:34-37). But that certainly wasn’t his everyday reality.

Mostly, he stared at sheep.

A resourceful young man, he passed the time by composing music. I expect he also practiced his sling shot.

In fact, it appears he perfected his skills. But I’m guessing that he didn’t think either talent held any kingdom significance.

After all, David didn’t win American Idol or The Voice. He didn’t even sing in the worship band at the Temple.

Yet, in 1 Samuel 16:14, Scripture records that an evil spirit began to torment Israel’s King Saul.

Saul’s bouts must have been severe for his servants suggested that Saul engage the services of a musician to calm him (1 Samuel 16:16).

Young David spent his days out in the fields with extremely dull companions–sheep.

David’s reputation as a musician secured him that position. Suddenly, a Shepherd’s simple hobby assumed national importance, (1 Samuel 16:23).

God used David’s underappreciated talent for God’s glory.

Just so.

Of course, most modern believers place a premium on worship music.

As a result, we may not fully grasp the enormity of God’s miraculous choice.

No worries. God is more than patient and He understands that I don’t always catch truth the first time ’round.  God gives me another example of a miraculous breakthrough in the young shepherd’s life.

It all started with that poor man’s weapon… the sling shot.

Who could have imagined that such a simplistic weapon would bring down a defiant giant named Goliath (1 Samuel 17:50)?

Perhaps, at times you have doubted your contributions to this world, to God’s plan.  Have you had one of those days, weeks, months or even years?

God recorded David’s story for people just like you and me.

Indeed, no task is too small; no talent insignificant. God loves to work miracles through the unorthodox, the unexpected (1 Corinthians 1:27).

Paul reminds us in his epistle to the Romans that although our gifts vary, we each play an important role in the body of Christ.

“And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly…” Paul writes, (Romans 12:6).

According to the grace given to us… every gift.

I can’t see the future nor can I predict what God will do with the grace He has given me. When I evaluate various gifts, it seems that preaching holds more pragmatic application for kingdom purposes than painting has.

Paul reminds us in his epistle to the Romans that although our gifts vary, we each play an important role in the body of Christ.

But Paul writes, “…according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them [gifts] accordingly,” (Romans 12:6).

Every gift…

Recently, God’s grace in the book of Exodus brought this truth home for me. God obviously gave Moses a tremendous task.

Even a cursory reading of the history of Israel’s exodus undeniably demonstrates the significance of Moses’ leadership. In addition, Moses’ brother Aaron also made a huge impact. Aaron and his sons served as the first priests in the Tabernacle.

Moses and Aaron operated as God’s front men. But as I recently reread God’s blueprint for the tabernacle’s structure as well as His description of its furnishings, I saw that God values all work done for His glory, (Colossians 3:23).

In other words, it doesn’t matter whether I believe my work to be kingdom worthy. The truth is that God sees the bigger picture. He created each of us, and He values every gift (Romans 2:11).

Case in point: in Exodus 28:3, God described the temple’s tailors in this way, “And you shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as priest to Me.”

Tailors…the men who designed the priests’ robes were endowed with a spirit of wisdom and created for the glory of God.

God loves to work miracles through the unorthodox, the unexpected (1 Corinthians 1:27).

Do you sew? You, too, tailor for God’s glory.

Do you serve? You are Christ’s hands and feet as you give to others, (1 John 3:18).

Do you balance financial books? You guide others in their stewardship of God’s grace.

Do you clean your home or the homes of others? You put the sparkle in the everyday, working “as for the Lord rather than for men,” (Colossians 3:23).

Do you create or build products with your hands? Are you a crafts-person?  When you create, you reflect your Creator’s image.

Yes, Yahweh placed a tailor alongside a priest, (Exodus 28:3). And He called fishermen to preach about a once crucified carpenter who has been crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords, (Philippians 2:9-11).

Clearly, our God delights in the juxtaposition of fishing boats and castles.

You and I may not see it today. We may find it impossible to imagine what God has in store for us.

But as we remain faithful in the tasks we’ve been given, we eventually turn that corner.

And when we do, God proves that a simple slingshot can slay a giant.

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father,” ~ Colossians 3:17

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69 thoughts on “Significant…Every One

  1. Beautiful painting beautiful post! Praying that God continues to use your heart as the paper on which He writes, and that He uses your hands to paint images on canvas that bring His words to life! The boats are beautiful and serve a special significance in reminding me of the vision He’s given me for ministry! Like David, let’s keep allowing God to equip us for the work while we wait in the pasture for a full manifestation of His promise! Those who wait upon the Lord SHALL….

    Liked by 4 people

    • Amen, Anthony. We will encourage and cheer one another on the journey! God has certainly given you the gifts of exhortation and encouragement. I will nickname you “Barnabas”–son of encouragement. 😉 Thank you for your very kind and thoughtful comment! I’m so grateful for the way God uses you and other blogging brothers and sisters in Christ to help buoy the boat as we travel. God bless you beyond all that you can imagine!

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Amen! I deeply relate. Sometimes, you just wonder, “Lord, how will You use this?”
    And it’s like God just says, “That’s for Me to decide, and I already have. I knew how you would use this for others and My glory, so trust Me.”

    Your pictures help me feel calm. I feel a gentleness from the pictures, every single one 🙂 I believe your heart’s reflection is showing. May patience be with you. I thought you may enjoy this song, it was playing when I was reading your post.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Love, love, love this! And why is it that Murphy shows up when then are already in a downward spiral? I pray your week gets better and better and we’ll just both try to shoo old Mr. Murphy away. I’d like him to take the Texas heat beast with him. We are finally having some coolish days but then we are also still having days in the low 90’s or high 80’s. Hugs and blessings, N 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Lynn, hang in there, although I can appreciate how critical messing up the coffee maker can be! 🙂 You are part of God’s light, you build up and bring joy to others and even though a cloud may block the view from time to time, which it does to all of us by the way, it doesn’t stop the fact of what you are. When your child messes up and runs into hiccups, doesn’t it make you want to reach out to them and love them more? I just sent you a holy hug. Thank you for making my day and many others a little brighter. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, ha! Yes… no one was a happy camper when the coffee maker malfunctioned! 😉 And thank you with all my heart for your encouragement, Bruce! You’re awesome. Your friendship is a true blessing! I’m so grateful to have met you through your wonderful blog! Holy hugs back! 🙂 You are my big brother in the Lord!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your paintings, Lynn. They refresh my spirit and they’re so restful that I imagine myself in them. 🙂 Your words, too, make such a difference. I love your paintings, Lynn, especially the nature ones. This especially filled me with hope – “In other words, it doesn’t matter whether I believe my work to be kingdom worthy. The truth is that God sees the bigger picture. He created each of us, and He values every gift (Romans 2:11).” Thank you for all your encouragement! Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Trudy… I can’t thank you enough for your kind and thoughtful encouragement! Your comment has made my day… possibly my entire month! What a gift you and your beautiful blog are! I’m so thankful to have met you through the internet! God bless you, my sister in the Lord! You are a blessing to me! ❤ and huge hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
    6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. Luke 5:5,6

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I loved this post Lynn. Every time I write a blog post on a certain topic; at first, I’m wondering how this could impact people here in the U.S. and always wondering how I could impact the world but God sees differently.

    I remember one fellow blogger said how a post that I wrote encouraged him and I didn’t know what to say because I thought that the blog post at the time wasn’t “good enough.”

    I really like what T.R. Noble said, ”
    Sometimes, you just wonder, “Lord, how will You use this?”

    And it’s like God just says, “That’s for Me to decide, and I already have. I knew how you would use this for others and My glory, so trust Me.”

    As a Christian, it is hard to see the bigger picture because we have such a “limited understanding” of who God and and who He called us to be. I will keep this in mind, “… although our gifts vary, we each play an important role in the body of Christ.”

    Your post was full of wisdom and insight and I thank you for it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much! Yes, I need God to remind me of this every now and again. So a bit of preaching to myself this week 😉 I’m glad the post resonated with you. Thank you so much for stopping by to read! I’m truly honored.

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  8. Wow–is that your painting?? I’m astonished! That is beautiful, just like your writing here. God inspired it, no doubt. I am thankful I found your blog, as this touched and blessed me today. Colossians 3:17 is one of my favorite verses! This was delightfully blessed by the Lord’s touch. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Mary Kate! I’m so glad you found my blog, too! I look forward to reading yours! I so love to hear what God teaches all of us. I learn so much about Him and what a wonderful privilege that is. Thank you for your lovely comment. Yes, the painting is mine. Since I am both an artist and writer, I best process what I learn about God through both art and writing. So this blog is kinda like an open book… I preach to myself here and I’m thankful if that encourages or resonates with you and my other blogging friends. God bless you greatly! I’m so delighted to meet you here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aw, I’d so appreciate that! I would love your insight on my posts. 😀 Amen! God shows us His glory in everything He leads us to do for Him. Amazing! I love painting and writing, but I’m not too good at the painting, haha. Your painting inspires me! If I may ask: How long have you been painting? That’s a beautiful purpose to blog. 🙂 Jesus be with you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, goodness. I’m not sure what I could add, but I certainly will be reading and commenting because I do so enjoy your blog! I’ve been painting all my life, but I didn’t really get serious about it until about eight or nine years ago. That’s when I started pursuing it full-time. God bless you greatly! You have so blessed me with your encouraging words today! ❤ and hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Kate… I can’t seem to find a way to comment on your blog…And since it says “Goodbye” on the front page and so I think perhaps you have closed the comment? So sorry since I wished to comment. But I think your blog is wonderful. Hugs!

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  9. Lynn, I’ve been looking forward to reading this post and woke up with it on my mind. I started my quiet time with it and felt like a rush of wind came into my room (and the windows are closed because fall has indeed arrived). I was moved to tears and laughter and felt like I was in one of those fishing boats with the Master Himself as you led me through scripture. I thought back to reading through the details of the Tabernacle this past summer and getting ansy with all the details. I jumped ahead to my NT study which happened to be Heb 8:5 which of course referred to what I had been impatient reading as “a copy and shadow of what heaven is.” So I went back and slowed down. :). Thank you for your Lesson/Message/Sermon this morning. I am inspired and encouraged. And I’ll finish by saying as you mentioned from Col 3:17; God calls “painters” to preach…” I love you, Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deb, what a gift you are from God! It is amazing to me how God orchestrates the best introductions and how He introduced me to you here online. Isn’t it phenomenal that He has been teaching both of us some of the very same things! I love that. Thank you with all my heart for your encouragement, for your thoughtfulness, and for your friendship. It means the absolute world to me. And that you should take such time to read what God has been teaching me is extraordinary! Thank you for that as well. I can tell that you are a very busy lady, and so, I am especially honored that you would spend time reading here. And then to offer me encouragement? You are a wonderful and truly giving person. Thank you again and again! I pray God blesses you beyond all that you could ever imagine. Much love and huge hugs, Lynn

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You truly are touching many lives, Lynn, and have an incredible depth of wisdom and talent which I eat up like a big bowl of popcorn. 🙂 I love the integration of stories and scripture. I know God can use that in ways we can’t begin to imagine to connect to others. (You know…? This commenting for all the world to see thing is new to me. You’re one of the first I’ve really connected to through my blog. I’ve been busy yes, but also hesitant. I’m shy by nature and have had to work at overcoming that. The one thing I said when I accepted my position at Danceworks was, Yes, as long as I don’t have to write or public speak. And that’s exactly what God has used me for over the years. Cracks me up. He has such a sense of humor.) We never know what God will use for His glory when we drop our fears off at the corner and let Him take the lead. Do we? Thank you for your friendship. Love, Deb (Now back to work) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Deb… I love it! Of course you are “shy”… most creatives are! I liken writing and publishing to “jumping out of an airplane”… you feel like you are in “free-fall.” Exilarating but scary. And I understand your caution. I hesitated, too. I’ve been blogging for three years, but I didn’t venture out to meet other bloggers until July of this year. But I’m soo glad I did because I have found some amazing friends! And I found you. So grateful to find such a wonderful friend and soul sister! By the way, your dad was amazing! And what a memory! I can’t believe all the wonderful stories and details that he left in your care! Lovin’ your book. Love and hugs!

      Like

    • Aww, thank you with all my heart, Karen! I preach to myself a lot, but I’m truly grateful if it resonates with my friends as well. I’m so glad that my journey could encourage you even if in a small way. I admire and respect you greatly! God bless you big time, my wonderful sister in Christ!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could meet in this life! I am grateful that whatever God’s will is that we will most certainly meet one another when we are in God’s presence! What a wonderful day that will be! Thank you with all my heart for your kind encouragement, Karen! I so love your blog and I’m very glad I “met” you here in the blogosphere! You are a blessing!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This post sounds like ,what can go wrong will go wrong, has been put on notice. Murphy rarely looks at the final seconds of the 4th quarter as you have. All scores are irreverent until the last second of the 4th quarter. You finished the rotten week with a 99 yd. kick off return for the score… a wonderful end to a week not worth talking about much… Continue to be an overcomer of life’s not so good times and you will prove what is, that good and acceptable will of God. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I LOVE that, Denny! Yes, Murphy has been given the boot! 😉 Love it! And thank you for your truly godly and wise encouragement! You’re awesome… God is so good to give me such a wonderful online community of brothers and sisters in Christ! God bless you big time!

      Liked by 1 person

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