I am not famous (or even moderately well known) for being a gifted chef. In fact, my daughter has told the tale of how I “burned water.” This is a gross exaggeration. I did not burn water. I simply forgot I had put some on to boil, and it all boiled away. This is very different from burning it. Really.
But even though I don’t truly enjoy cooking, I am able to apply common sense when I cook.
For example, when I make a casserole, I know enough to put things in it that I like. I put in pasta, cheese, tomatoes, cheese, onions, cheese, olives, cheese… you get the picture.
I love all those things, so I add them generously. And, no surprise, the result is that I like the casserole.
Here’s the thing I think we can often forget: when God made the recipe of you, He put in things He likes: your sense of humor, your creativity, your talent with numbers, your personality, your love of quiet moments, the way you encourage others, your fascination with puzzles and your love of adventure.
He put things in you that He likes, and the result is, He likes you. Yes. That’s right. He likes you. You’ve been told that He loves you. Now I want you to hear that He likes you, too.
When He was designing you, before He ever began the actual “knitting you together in the womb” process, He selected traits He likes. And He put lots of them in you—just like I put lots of cheese in my casseroles. (Well, casserole– singular. I only make one.)
He put those things in you on purpose, because He likes them. They please Him. That’s right. Even though there may be people who think you should talk more (or less) or who think your sense of humor is strange and your love of plaid a little weird, your Heavenly Father smiles. He likes the things He put in you. And the same way I like my cheesy casserole, He likes you. Well, actually, He likes you a whole lot more than I like the casserole, but you get what I mean.
Here’s an important connection… if you’ve ever wondered if you matter, and whether you’ll make a difference in the world, the fact that He designed you on purpose, with things in you that He likes, means the answer is “Yes!” to mattering and making a difference.
You have a purpose, and that purpose will use the “ingredients” God put in you. Some days, your purpose is to bring delight to His heart. And some days, it’s to notice what no one else notices, and take action. Other days, it’s to use your sense of humor to point a friend in His direction.
One of the most exciting things you can do is to spend some time thinking about the ingredients—err, talents and gifts—your Heavenly Father gave you. Then listen, and watch. And when opportunities arise that match even just one of your gifts, step up.
Here’s the cool part: using your gifts and talents is one of the most joy-bringing, satisfying things you’ll ever do! And when you’re making a difference in His kingdom, it’s even more rewarding.
The inspiration for this was taken in part from Psalm 139:13-18. And by the way, when I talk about His Kingdom, I am not just talking about things you can do in your church!