By Debby Giusti
Today’s gospel reading — Matthew 25:14-30 — is the familiar parable of a wealthy man who goes on a journey and entrusts his possessions to three servants. As you probably recall, two servants are industrious and increase the master’s holdings, but the third servant buries what he’s been given. The master, upon his return, is angered by his laziness and punishes the negligent servant.
The story is rich in meaning and points out the importance of good stewardship, whether in financial matters or with the innate gifts God has given us. We all know people who readily use their gifts for good. The women who cook for parish dinners or organize a food drive for the poor are using their gifts as well as a person with a love for music who sings in the church choir or an attentive listener who studies to become a counselor.
But some gifts are hard to discern and may seem little more than illusive longings. In addition, the demands of daily life might keep us from acting on inner yearnings that are difficult to pinpoint and somewhat unrealistic to pursue. Like the servant in Matthew’s gospel, fear of ridicule or failure may hold us back, or we might be confused and question what the Lord really wants us to do.
That was the case in my own life. I was a medical technologist by profession and a stay-at-home mom after my children were born, but I also had a desire to write. As I raised my children and traveled around the world with my military husband, I put my writing on hold to care for my family, yet the desire continued to grow. Always active in church ministry, I prayed about where the Lord was calling me and whether the desire to write was truly from Him.
Thankfully, the Lord nudged me forward. I found a professional writers’ organization where I learned about the publishing industry and how to network with editors and agents. I attended workshops and seminars that focused on ways to develop a story, and I wrote day after day to improve my ability and hone my craft. Eventually, God led me to a Christian publisher and an amazing editor who bought my first novel. My twenty-third book was published last month.
Letters and emails from readers mention how my stories about forgiveness and redemption have increased their faith and drawn them closer to Christ. I attend conferences around the country and frequently pray with writers who are working toward publication. For the last few years, I’ve hosted a class to help parishioners in my church develop their own writing skills. The raw talent the Lord gave me, which started as a glimmer of a dream, now bears fruit.
The seasons of our lives change and often a dream comes of age. Is there a long ignored desire of your heart that you’ve pushed aside or buried like the servant in the parable? Perhaps God planted that desire as a seed he wants you to cultivate so it can blossom into something good.
Are you ready to unearth your gifts? If so, pray to discern the Lord’s will. Trust that He will lead you. Ignore the negative internal voice that tries to steer you off course, and banish fear that keeps you from stepping out in faith.
God gives us gifts for a reason. He wants us to use our gifts to spread his love and build up his kingdom on earth. Follow the Lord’s promptings and tune your ears to his voice as you answer his call. Undoubtedly, you’ll hear him whisper, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
About the Author:
Debby Giusti is a bestselling author of Christian suspense, with more than 750,000 books in print. Her work has won numerous awards, including two Daphne du Maurier Awards for Inspirational Suspense, the National Readers’ Choice Award and the Readers’ Best Award. A lifelong Catholic, Army wife and mother of three, Debby shares the love of Christ, one story at a time. You can find her Publishers Weekly Bestsellers, Amish Refuge and Undercover Amish, in your favorite bookstores, at Walmart and at Amazon.com. Watch for her next book, Amish Rescue, on sale in May. Visit Debby: www.DebbyGiusti.com and https://www.facebook.com/debby.giusti.9
Thank you for sharing. I have some nudgings that I have been pushing back on but maybe this is the season of life to explore them.
Mary Ellen, I hope you’ll venture forth in that new direction. If you’re feeling called, I bet the Lord is the one doing the calling. I’ll be praying for you! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!