Start Pouring and Watch God Increase It!
by Donna VanLiere
For years, I worked nine-to-five jobs and would write on the side. Someone would say, “I’m looking for someone to write something fun for a charity benefit. Do you know anyone who could do that?” And I’d say, “I could do that.” Another person would say, “I need someone to write a sketch to make a certain point at church. Do you know anyone who could do that?” And I’d say, “Sure! I could do that.” I was constantly taking on freelance writing work while working a full-time job. It wasn’t until someone said, “You know, you’re really gifted at writing,” that I even stopped to think about it. I kept taking on writing work because I could do it. I never thought I was gifted at it! It seems that oftentimes a gift comes so naturally to us that it takes someone else to point it out.
Not everyone can look at a room and see it completely remodeled or redecorated, but maybe you can!
Not everyone can look at tired landscaping and see exactly which shrubs, flowers, or trees would look great in that space, but maybe you can!
Not everyone can read a passage of Scripture and turn it into a lesson that impacts the lives of others, but maybe you can!
Not everyone can look at a piece of wood and then make it into a beautiful kitchen table, but my husband can!
I have known people who can do all these things. But what’s interesting is that for all of them, these were not their full-time jobs. These were all gifts that they enjoyed and shared with others on the side, but some of them have since turned into their full-time career.
Start Pouring It Out!
One of my favorite Old Testament accounts is that of Elisha and the widow’s oil in 2 Kings 4:1-7. Times were difficult for this widow; her husband is dead, and creditors are breathing down her neck. Elisha asks, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” She is in such a hard place that she doesn’t have anything except a jar of oil. Elisha instructed her to go out and borrow as many vessels as she could. At this point, she’s either thinking that he’s crazy or that God is about to do something incredible. He told her to shut the door behind her and her sons and to “pour into all these vessels.” Imagine picking up the one sole jar of oil you have and lifting it to pour into all the vessels. Many of us would think, “This is crazy! I don’t have enough oil! It’s going to run out!” But the oil didn’t run out! It only ran out when there wasn’t another bottle to fill. As long as the widow had something to pour the oil into, the oil kept flowing and brought a blessing!
Don’t Be Afraid
Perhaps you have a gift that you love and that comes naturally to you, but you’ve been afraid to share it. Maybe you think that it probably won’t be a blessing or benefit anybody else. Or maybe you think that you’re probably not all that gifted at it—but how will you know until you start to pour it out? The more you pour it out, the more your confidence grows. And as you pour it out, God will increase your opportunities to share it. Will it be your career? If it’s God’s will, yes. But it could be that you are in your specific job for a reason; you’ve been placed there for a special purpose. But you also have the gift God has given you to share on the side. You might be frightened to share your gift, thinking, “Who even knows what quilling is?” or “Nobody would want a handbag made from a pair of jeans,” or “Only my family would like these metalworks decorations,” or “Who would want to read my short devotional when there are already so many to choose from?”
Like the widow, I encourage you to start pouring out what you have in “your house,” the gift that God has specifically downloaded into you. Start pouring it out at your church, on your neighbors, your community, and on social media. Once you start pouring, God will give the increase, and not only will you be blessed but also all those vessels you are pouring into will be blessed!
Donna VanLiere is NY Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her latest series is part fiction and part biblical teaching about the last days. The Day of Ezekiel’s Hope released in March. She hosts the Things Are Looking Up podcast and her website is www.donnavanliere.com
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