|Travis Greene - "You Waited" single artwork / Amazon|
You came out of Your way
You sat down to speak to me
What amazing grace
That You've shown,
God does not have to speak to us at all. He chooses to extend Himself to us because He's gracious, and since His thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9), He waits patiently for us to process what He's saying. He deposits things inside of us and waits for us to use what He's given us for His glory.
You called out my name
Knew my past
Covered my shame
This amazing grace
God knows exactly who we are because He created us. In spite of all the sins we've committed and all the wrong we've done, He calls on us to use our past experiences, especially those we deem shameful, as a testimony to bring people to Him. However, because we are human, pride, embarrassment, fear of being judged, fear of not being accepted, not being good enough etc., gets in the way and we ask God to wait until we are ready to share our stories and gifts.
Our gifts will always be there, right? We can choose to use them whenever we're ready. WRONG. The same way God gave you the gift, He can take it away if He sees it laying dormant. We sometimes forget that our gifts are not our own. It's not up to us to choose when we're ready to use them (Besides, if we wait until we are completely "ready," we'll never use them!). We're always asking God to do things for us, and whether we want to admit it or not, we expect Him to do them on our time. When we don't get what we want right away, we subconsciously yell, "Hurry up, God! Do it now!" How can we ask so much of Him while we're being stingy by keeping our gifts to ourselves? God was gracious enough to give them to us, the least we can do is give them back to Him.
Testimony time: In my sophomore year of college, I started writing poetry. I wrote poems consistently almost every day, but I didn't know what to do with them. Since I believe that, in the words of Aristotle, "We are what we repeatedly do," I was calling myself a poet, but only in private. I knew there was a spoken word group on campus, but I thought, I'm new to this. Nobody wants to hear my work. What if everyone else's poems are better than mine? In the midst of my doubt, I heard a voice loud and clear that had to be the voice of God, I gave it to you for a reason. Use it. He didn't have to tell me what "it" was. I quietly went to the first Can-I-Poet meeting fall semester of my junior year, and as the weeks and months went by, I felt more and more comfortable sharing my work with the group. By fall of senior year, I was ready to perform.
I chose a piece I'd written called "Ode to a Dark-Skinned Girl," about the underappreciation of dark-skinned black women in society. As soon as I took the microphone, it felt like my heart was about to beat out of my chest. My legs were reduced to spaghetti, and I was shaking like a leaf, but I DID IT. I read a poem in front of an audience for the first time, and afterwards I almost felt silly for being so nervous. Everyone really liked it. That night, two other "dark-skinned girls" I had never met before came up to me with tears in their eyes. One of them said, "Thank you. Your poem was everything I've been trying to put into words for a long, long, time. It made me feel beautiful." The voice in my head said, See? I told you so.
"And You, / You waited for me / Just for me..." That was two years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. That moment moved me in a way I can't explain. God waits for us to use our gifts because He knows there are people who need to hear His voice through us. Stop making God wait. Stop sitting on your gift and answer when you hear His call. Don't wait for the right moment, the perfect time, next year, or even tomorrow. His timing is always perfect. It might feel uncomfortable at first. You might not feel ready yet, but do it now, even if you have to do it afraid. There's somebody out there who needs your gift right now. Seek God and ask Him where and how to use it.