Monday, July 23, 2012

Quid Pro Quo

               I am a writer, I write everything, my thoughts, my prayers and all that I think about or wonder about are written down. I started writing when I was a kid, I used to write poems, short stories, and I even wrote a book. For me, writing is easier than speaking. Yet sometimes I find myself going through a period where the last thing I want to do is write. My heart is just not in it. There are a few things on my heart to write, but finding the inspiration and the motivation to do it is just not there.
                I spent the morning with a very dear friend of mine on Saturday past, and we discussed my lack of motivation. I talked with her about my fear of what I write not being any good, or that in my writings I would lead someone astray. I confessed to her that I go to my desk, open up my computer and stare at a blank page. Nothing comes, nothing inspires me, nothing happens when I do try to write. Perhaps it is fear that is holding me back, perhaps the Lord God does not want me to write what is in my heart, and there are a lot of perhaps floating around in my head. But then this morning, as I was doing my reading, I came across a passage of scripture that enlightened my eyes to understanding.
                “You are not restricted by us; you are restricted by your own affections.” (2 Corinthians 6:12) When I read this I was touched in my heart. Paul was talking to the Corinthians about his ministry to them in chapter 6. He tells them that “in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God;” (vs. 4) He goes on to list all that he has gone through for them and that he never held anything back from them. “O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open.” (vs. 11) Nothing that Paul had or spoke was held back from them. Everything he received from the Lord Jesus Christ, he gave to them- no matter the cost.
                As I pondered on these verses, I thought about Christ Jesus, our God and Father who held nothing back from us. He speaks openly with us; He pours out into us all that He has. He holds nothing back from us. The troubles I am having with writing are because I am holding back from Him. I am not restricted because God restricts me; I am restricted by my own emotions, my own fears.
                How many times have we read “We walk by faith and not by sight”? How many times have I encouraged you all to take that leap of faith and trust God? Not too long ago I wrote about the “what ifs” in our lives, and how no matter what happens God has gone before us. I am preaching to myself this morning. The gifts that I have been given are not my own to keep bottled up or to hold back. They have been given to me because He desires to use them and grow them so that He can be glorified.
                What holds me back is me, my own fear of failure, my own lack of motivation. God is ready to pour out into me, but I am restricting Him because of my “what ifs” and my “perhaps”. To truly let go and let God use me means that I have to be open to what is before me. I have to step out of my comfort zone and be open to what He desires to do in me. Paul said to the Corinthians, “Now, in return for the same (I speak as to children) you also be open.” (vs. 13)
                We have a God that is not restricted by anything. He is able to do and to will as He pleases. I am just a cracked pot, whom God desires to pour through. He has brought me so far, yet I have so very far to go. All God is asking of me is that I open wide my heart and let Him work through me. I am His child, He has opened wide His heart to me, He asks only that I open wide my heart to Him.
                One commentary on these verses used the term “quid pro quo”- something given in fair exchange for something received. Paul was asking the Corinthians to give back to him what he had freely and openly given to them. God is asking the same of me this morning. Give back to Him what He has freely and openly given to me- everything. All He asks of me is an open and willing heart to be used by Him. The gift that I have been given, this gift of writing, is not for me- but it has been given to me so that He can speak, encourage, lift up and bless His children.
                No matter what our gifts are, whether it is writing, speaking, the gifts of helps, let us say today- “quid pro quo”- a fair exchange for what I have received. The Lord God knows no limits or boundaries, He is not restricting us from using the gifts He has given us; it is we who are holding back from Him.
                Father God may my heart be open wide to You today and every day. Father, let me not hold back from You, for You have held nothing back from me. Let my writing bring You glory, let my heart be open, a free flowing river which pours out the gift You have given me. Be in me and work through me as You desire. I am Yours and You are mine, forever and ever. Amen.