Sunday, June 28, 2009

Discovering our Territory

New International Version (NIV)
1 Chronicles 4:10 (New International Version)
10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.

My friend Magda visited on Wednesday bringing the gift of her presence, but also two yogurt containers full of a hearty beef stew (still warm from the pot;) a delicious, home-made, cranberry lemon loaf and a book.

The book that Magda gave me was entitled, Soul Prints, by Marc Gafni, a rabbi living in Jerusalem. She had enjoyed it, but found a copy for me in a second hand bookstore. Isn't that a wonderful and sensible way to shop for gifts?

So far I have only read the introduction, but already I can tell that I am going to enjoy it, and that God used Magda to place it in my hands.

Marc Gafni explains that each of us has a unique soul print; an essence as personal and unique as a fingerprint or DNA. That resonates with me.

1 Chronicles 4:10, the prayer of Jabez, says:
"Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!"

I think that "territory," refers to our realm of influence for God; our "place" in time: both here and now and in eternity.

While recovering from my recent medical misadventures, at home, I have had time to think and listen to God. Right now I am asking him to reveal more deeply what my place is, and also asking whether in my busyness, I have missed any of his true, deep purposes for my existence.

On Thursday, Mary Anne, another friend, visited. She and her husband were just commissioned into service as her husband is taking up a pastorate in Haliburton. In "the charge," their pastor said, "People will always want you to step out of your giftings," and he warned them to resist!

Yes, if we take on territory meant for others uniquely fitted for those tasks, they may never take up their positions, and we will be depleted of energy for the things that God has perfectly crafted us to do. Our true selves are, after all, the only gifts we have to offer to God and the world.

Matthew 7:7-8 (New International Version)
Ask, Seek, Knock 7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.


Deidra said...

Amen. When my husband was first called to ministry, his pastor told him, "Be yourself in the pulpit. Don't try to imitate someone like Billy Graham, or Martin Luther King. Just be yourself. If you're trying to be someone else, the person you're trying to be isn't there, and neither are you. Therefore, the pulpit is empty. So, be yourself."

Belinda said...

Wow, Deidra, what wise counsel. "The pulpit is empty," I love it.

Olson Family said...

Thank you, Belinda. Your words touch a chord deep within me as I go through this season right now. "Our true selves are, after all, the only gifts we have to offer to God and the world." Oh, that I would live out that truth today!

By His grace.

JennRene Owens said...

Love this!

Belinda Burston said...

Thank you JennRene (beautiful name!). Such a long ago post I forgot all about it! It was good to reread. :)