How embarrassing!" exclaimed Zoe as she hung up the phone. "Mrs. Phillips wants me to sing a solo in church two weeks from Sunday."
Mom smiled. "That's wonderful, honey," she said as she measured ingredients for a cake.
"Wonderful? What if I make a mistake?" asked Zoe. "All my friends will laugh at me."
"It's your decision," said Mom, "but Mrs. Phillips is obviously aware that God gave you a beautiful voice. It's a shame not to use it for Him."
"Well, I'm not going to do it," Zoe said stubbornly. She watched as her mother took an old-fashioned eggbeater from the cupboard and began vigorously beating the cake batter. "Are you making a cake?" Zoe asked.
Mom nodded. "It's Dad's birthday cake," she replied.
Zoe frowned as she watched her mother. "Where's the mixer we got you for your birthday last week?" asked Zoe. "Is it broken already?" Mom shook her head as she added more flour. "Well, then," said Zoe, "Why don't you use it? I thought you liked it."
"Are you disappointed that I'm not using the gift you gave me?" asked Mom. One eyebrow arched as she waited expectantly.
Zoe shrugged. "A little, I guess."
Mom looked thoughtful. "You and I each have a gift we're not using," she said. "There's my mixer and your music--your ability to sing well. You're disappointed because I don't seem to like the mixer you gave me. I wonder if God is disappointed when we don't use the gifts He gave us."
Zoe was startled. "I . . . I never thought of that."
"The reason I'm not using my gift is that Mrs. Cooper, next door, asked if she could borrow it. Her mixer broke, and she had to make several cakes for the missionary fundraiser, so I loaned it to her." Mom paused. "Do you have a good reason for not using your gift?"
Zoe was silent a moment. "Maybe God thinks I don't like my voice," she said at last, "but I do. I'll call Mrs. Phillips and tell her I'll sing."
"Good," said Mom. "I'm sure God will be pleased with that."
HOW ABOUT YOU?
What abilities or talents has God given you? Are you good with kids? See if you can help out in the church nursery. Can you draw? Draw pictures and pass them out at a nursing home. Do you like to meet new people? Have lunch with the new kid at school. God loves it when you use the gifts He gave you to honor Him!
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: 1 Peter 4:10 (KJV)
As each one has received a gift, minister it... as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
*Verse displayed is NKJV