Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Well Done Good and Faithful Servant

The Parable of the Talents is one of my favorite stories of the bible.  Yesterday as I prayed for Paul in adoration, I was getting very frustrated that I was not hearing God.  I couldn't hear him.  I wanted some peace and found that I left without feeling it.  I had taken a journal and drew as I prayed {no judgement- this is how I do prayer}.  I ended up writing "Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant".  I saw that a lot today.

In the story the master gives his 3 servants talents.  The first servant gets 5 talents, the second servant gets 2 and the last servant gets one.  The first servant goes out and trades with his talents and gets 5 more.  The second servant goes out and makes 2 more.  The last servant, in fear of making his master angry, buries his.  The master calls them to him to see what they did with what he gave them. He praises the first 2 and says, "Well done my good and faithful servants.  Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities.  Come, share your masters joy"  To the 3rd servant he says, "For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."  He then threw the servant out into the darkness.

Today I thought of this parable and took some time to reflect on it..  We come into this world with all of the gifts God has bestowed on us.  When we leave he expects to ask us what we did with those gifts.  Did we use those gifts to gather more riches for our master?  Did we bury them away, to return them unused to the master?  If you are given faith and use it, you will receive goodness in return.  If you are given faith and do not use it, everything will be taken away.

I think about Ann's post on Paul being victorious- even in death.  There is no losing for a man of faith.  When you live a life of faith like Paul, you are blessed and lifted up in prayer.  You are taken care of and so is your family.  You are also called to share that faith and return it to your master doubled.  I believe you do that by sharing it in everything you do.  Encouraging those around you to live it.  You do that using the talents God gave you.  God gave Paul fearlessness, kindness, joy, courage.  He used every one of those and wore his faith like a superhero cape.

Paul definitely changed my life and the life of my family.  I have learned that laughing does a person good.  Laughing at yourself is sometimes the greatest joy you can have.  I have learned that if you look at a tree and say, "that looks like it would be fun to climb", you climb it.  I have learned if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all and challenge yourself to lift that person up.  I have learned that when God gives you crosses, you carry them fearlessly and you never, ever give up.  I have learned that all of us are one day going to die, we are called to do so faithfully and courageously.  Most of all I have learned that having gifts from God are useless if you are not going to use them to inspire others.

There will be a lot of talk on the lack of miracles and the "see, praying does no good."  But you have to use the faith God gave you to see beyond the disappointment of prayers, seemingly, unheard.  Look to the miracles God has granted Paul and his family through the millions of prayers he received.  Prayers he received because he gave out his faith like candy.  Look at the way, God has used Paul to change something inside of yourself. 

Look at the thousands of people who are following Paul's story and are changed for the better.  They are inspired by the love shared between a husband and wife.  They are encouraged by Paul's refusal to stop trying to live every moment he is able.  They are inspired by how his community of friends is rallying to rebuild his home.  They are in awe of his faith, even at the hour of his death.  Most of all people are seeing and believing in the victory of his death.  Today he dies victorious and returns to the master with arms full of the blessings he gave during his life.  This is not the tragic story of a husband and father who died from aggressive cancer.  It's not the end of a life, its the beginning of a beautiful story of faith.  It is a story of a Good and Faithful Servant returning home victoriously.  Well done, Paul, well done.

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