I’m a carer. Pretty much 24/7. Not how I envisioned spending my early retirement years, but there it is. And it’s probably one of the toughest jobs I’ve done. What amazes me about it, though, is how my capabilities and personality are adapted to cope. It seems like I was made for this task I’d have never chosen.
We talk about the ‘Gifts of the Spirit’ – those nine gifts outlined in 1 Corinthians 12 of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues and interpretation. The nine spiritual gifts. But then I read Exodus 31:1-11, where Bezalel, Oholiab and others were ‘filled with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts’ to enable them to manufacture all the accessories for the tent of meeting God had instructed Moses to have made. God spiritually gifted them to make the stuff.
So ‘gifts of the Spirit’ go way beyond the list in Corinthians. I’d say they go as far as skills in care, keeping a house clean, solving problems, coping with getting up in the night and the ability to drop back to sleep when you get the chance. They may even include things like patience, long suffering, and self-control – the stuff we usually class as ‘fruit of the Spirit’.
I’d say the gifts of the Spirit go as far as any skills required by any child of God to do any work he has called you to. Paid work, voluntary, or just plain ‘have to’.
If you’re struggling with your work, take time aside, and ask God to fill you afresh with his Holy Spirit. Ask him to empower you. Ask for the gifts of the Spirit you need to accomplish the task you are doing. And if you are really, really struggling, ask him if you are doing the right job. Being ‘called’ to a work isn’t just about ministers, nuns and missionaries! I’d say I was ‘called’ to be a carer, right now, right in my own home. What are you called to do?
Maybe it’s time to stop grumbling about what you have to do, and see your work as a ‘calling’ God has asked you to do. Then you can expect gifts of the Spirit to enable you to fulfil it. He promises to supply ALL our needs.