The Bud of New Life
Author: David Bonner Smith (Oregon, US)
When I belonged to the local rose-growing club, I learned that most rose varieties are developed by grafting a bud-eye of the desired variety onto a rootstock. Whatever bud-eye the gardener grafts onto the rootstock will determine the characteristics of the new bush.
I see a spiritual parallel to this. When we become part of God’s family, the wild part of us is cut off and a new life is grafted onto our ‘rootstock’. Just as the gardener determines what kind of rose he or she will propagate, God determines what spiritual gifts we will have to minister to others in the body of Christ.
One of the hardest things for me to accept is that God didn’t give me the spiritual gifts that I used to think I wanted—gifts that would make me stand out as a ‘spiritual celebrity’. Instead, I find myself doing what anybody could do: giving out groceries at a food bank, making sandwiches for a homeless shelter, or writing words of encouragement to grieving friends. From my experience over the years, I have concluded that God is not as concerned with gifts that bring us personal recognition as with those we can use to help meet the needs of others.
Prayer: Dear Father, help us to stop wishing for spiritual gifts we don’t have and instead to embrace the ones you have given us and use them to minister to others. Amen