"But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them." 1 John 2:5
If you were given a gift by someone who truly loved you, would you pass it up? Worse yet, would you re-gift? I'm supposing most would answer, "It depends on the gift."
If the gift were something you'd asked for, longed for or was unimaginably perfect for you, my guess is you'd choose to keep it. But, if the gift was less than beautiful (okay, outright ugly) or would make you uncomfortable to use it or be seen in it, my bets are you'd either opt to politely refuse it, return it or re-gift it.
Years ago God gave me a gift and I'm embarrassed to say, I opted to re-gift.
I was in the middle of worship on a Sunday morning. I don't mean just being present in body, in "my pew" inside the physical sanctuary of a church building. I mean fully immersed in God's presence. As I sang familiar words God interrupted my song with words of his own. Today, I can't recall the specific words but I know they weren't mine. I do remember they were just a few words with no specific meaning to me but they kept repeating and I felt compelled to speak them but fear stopped me.
"Lord, I think these words are from you but, what if I'm wrong?" I asked.
"They are from me," he replied. "Just speak."
"But they're not a complete thought." I argued.
"Don't worry. I'll give you the words. Just speak."
"I can't. Please, Lord, give these words to someone else. Not me."
And he did.
I'd like to say that was an isolated incident but it wasn't. It happened several times over a few years. God would put a phrase or a sentence in my head and ask me to speak but I'd refuse and re gift it to someone else. "Lord, please give these words to Linda or Rick. They're known for their gift of prophecy. They're not afraid to speak." And every time, the exact words that had been floating around in my head would be spoken from their lips. For awhile that was okay with me. It let me off the hook of responsibility but then I realized I was acting like a spoiled child. Who was I to refuse God's gift or worse, to re gift it? For awhile, God withheld his words from me. And, believe it or not, I felt slighted and told him so. Can you imagine? (I'm being brutally honest).
Like any parent, God gave me another chance but it came with a warning, "If I entrust my words to you, you must be obedient to speak them. My words are not for your edification but for my glory and the edification of all my people."
A few years ago, God placed more than a few words in my heart. He planted the seed of a book. He's commissioned me to write his story of healing and forgiveness based on some of my life's experiences. It's been a stop and go journey and he's reminded me that I certainly have the choice to refuse and re-gift. I've chosen to accept his gift of words as he continually reminds me that his words give healing and are meant for his glory and the edification of all.
So, I'd covet your prayers as I set out to finish writing down the words he has entrusted to me.