"When GAWD Blesses You. . . " E.V. Hill and Moldy Strawberries

"Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church. . ." 

It was my friend Katie's birthday, and her father wanted to do something extravagant and unusual.  He knew Katie loved strawberries, probably because her mother canned 12 pints of strawberry jam the day before she was born, so strawberries had to be involved.  Add to that her love for dark chocolate, and the fusion of the two made for several wonderful possibilities. 

He chose to order twelve luscious red strawberries dressed in tuxedos of dark chocolate, nestled quietly together in a satin-lined box.  He could almost imagine them whispering together in the dark box, giggling softly as they awaited the moment when she would lift the lid and reveal her birthday surprise. 

Her reaction was sheer delight. She later confessed  that after her father left, she tucked them waaaaay back into the farthest corner of the refrigerator so she wouldn't have to share them.  Occasionally she would take them out just to admire how pretty they looked.  Every now and then she would eat one, enjoying their juicy sweetness.

Several days passed, and she called me from work to tell me the sad news. "I had to throw most of my strawberries away.  They were moldy.  I never expected them to spoil so quickly.  It's really sad that so many of them were wasted.  I wish I had shared them." 

My friend's moldy strawberries remind me of a similar gift that you and I have received from our heavenly Father -- our spiritual gift(s), "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them. . . " Romans 12:6

As I thought about my friend Katie's strawberries that wasted away in the fridge because she didn't share them, I wondered how many of us allow our spiritual gifts to grow moldy in the refrigerator of life because we don't share them?  I Corinthians 14:12 says, "Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church. . ."  God never gives us anything simply for our own selfish pursuits. 

If you are a believer, you have at least one spiritual gift.  Your gift may be dramatic and out-front like teaching or preaching, or your gift may be a behind-the-scenes gift like the gift of helps or the gift of mercy.  You may cringe at the thought of speaking in front of a group, but may absolutely love serving in the nursery or visiting the sick in the hospital.  Teaching Vacation Bible School may make you want to run and hide, but organizing the supply closet may make you feel fulfilled and happy.  Whatever your gift is, you have an obligation not to hide it in the back of the refrigerator until it is wasted.  First Corinthians 4:2 tells us that he who has been given a trust must prove faithful.

What is  your spiritual gift?  If you don't know, check out some of the passages listed at the end of this blog or take the spiritual gift inventory. You may be surprised to find out how God has gifted you for His service.

Once you know what your spiritual gift is, pray and ask God how He would have you use it in His kingdom.  Talk to someone in your church's leadership, and tell them you want to volunteer.  After you pick them up off the floor, they will be delighted to help you find a place of service.

 As the late Dr. E.V. Hill, pastor of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, California often said, "When GAWD blesses you, He don't even have you in mind!"


1 Corinthians 12
Romans 12


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