What a great day to be alive! It’s Sunday, the sun rose, and the SON rose. You are alive and dearly loved. This past week I spent some time camped out in 1 Corinthians 13. I read it again and again, and each time, something new spoke to me. What it really revealed was what I’ll call an Expectations Gap.
An Expectations Gap is the difference between what we believe to be true and what is true — a disconnect between what we see and what we hear. For instance, you may know two people who have been married for decades. They go to church every Sunday, and their adult children and grandchildren sit with them in the same pew they’ve sat in since their kids were babies. They give generously to the church and to their community. In their spare time, they donate their gift of music by singing at nursing homes, ribbon cuttings, and other special events. Upon spending a little time with them, you notice that these two people speak ill of each other and disrespectfully to one another. You never witness physical sparring, but their words are sharp and painful–worse than any jab that threatens to level you.
This scenario might leave you a bit confused. How could they do so much good and secretly do so much harm? We expect one outcome based on what we have always seen, but when we look closer, we see a disconnect between what we believed to be true and what actually is true. What we’re left with is confusion, questions, and a need for answers — a way to bridge that gap with whatever is missing.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Having many God-given gifts and stewarding those gifts is a huge responsibility, and it’s often times exhausting. Many who have these life-changing gifts grow weary along their journey and eventually hit a rough patch. That rough patch can lead to stress and uncharacteristic behaviors. The fire with which your heart burned for your ministry seems to have been extinguished, and anything can be the culprit: 15-hour work days, financial woes, health concerns, or a family crisis. All those things can put a damper on your fiery passion, but all is not lost. There’s always hope when we turn to the Gift Giver.
Carve out some time for God, and make that your priority. Let nothing else jockey for first place. He alone must always sit atop everything else in your life. Now that the issue of priorities is settled, ask him for a heaping helping of his grace, mercy, and abiding love. May the infusion of God’s love course through your veins and spill out into everything that you touch. May peace, love, and blessings abound! <3
NOTE: Want to continue reading this series? Click here for Part II.