“So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the LORD has commanded.” Exodus 36:1 (NIV)
For years, I wrote meeting minutes, typed business letters and pulled together newsletter content. It helped support my family, but it wasn’t my calling from God.
In tears, I wailed, “When will I do what I am truly called to do for God?” In truth, He was refining my skills, preparing me to write for His glory. But back then, I was clueless.
Sometimes we long to do something great for God, thinking we’ll wake up one day with a sudden talent to get it done. We fail to notice how God’s been slowly working the needed talent into our skill set.
This was the case of the Hebrews when they stepped out of slavery in Egypt and into a bleak wilderness. God was leading His people, and at Mount Sinai, He said, “Build Me a beautiful sanctuary.” The how-to details were assigned to skilled workers: “Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD has given skill and ability …” (Exodus 36:1).
Did Bezalel, Oholiab and the others wake up one wilderness morning with a sudden talent for goldsmithing, woodworking and weaving? God could have worked it that way. But more likely, they learned their skills while they were slaves in Egypt.
Day after day, year after year, they may have used their talents at the direction of pagan overlords. Clueless about their amazing future, they honed their skills with little hope for something bigger and better. But God knew what was coming. (Exodus 31:1-6)
Fast-forward to today. What skills are you honing on routine tasks, at the direction of a difficult boss or simply to pay for the food on your table? God may be polishing your skills for bigger and better projects to come, ones that will display His glory.
Let’s imagine those Hebrew artisans. God’s instructions said to weave cherubim into the tabernacle curtains. (Exodus 36:8) Cherubim, with four wings and four faces, are hard to draw and even harder to weave.
How many designs may have been tried and rejected before they found one worthy of God’s holy tabernacle? How many hard-worked rows were perhaps unraveled and redone? The Bible doesn’t count the do-overs. We only know that the finished product was glorious.
Similarly, you read a devotion here, and it touches your heart. You don’t see the do-overs — the first, second and 22nd versions that weren’t quite right.
Dear sisters, do you wonder (like I did) when God will put your skills to use for Him? Feel stuck in a wilderness of do-overs? Think what’s done for God’s glory should come easily?
Like those artisans in Exodus, you are a work in progress. God is refining your talents.
You may try and fail many times before you get it right, but God has a plan for your weaving, your writing, your special skills. Trust Him and keep working. Your time will come.
Lord God, You know how much I want to do something good for Your glory. I’m impatient with skill-building and do-overs. Give me eyes to see it as practice, not failure. Move me from clueless to cooperative. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)
Psalm 139:16, “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (NIV)
What skills of yours have you seen God use for His glory? Share your doubts, do-overs and discoveries in the comments.
© 2022 by Shirlee Abbott. All rights reserved.
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