Jesus tells us that we cannot keep what He has given us hidden. See Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-27. In these parables, what was given was money. Two of the servants invested that money and made more for their master/employer. One of them hid the money out of fear. The ones who invested the money and earned more were rewarded with even greater authority. But the one who hid what he got, not earning any interest, had everything taken away from him. He was miserable and suffered as a result of his choice.
I do not claim to be a Bible scholar, and I am no theologian, but I believe with great certainty that every word of the Bible has an intimately personal meaning for each person reading it. This personal meaning and application is in addition to the historical context and application to the whole church body of believers. My disclaimer is that I am about to explain how this parable speaks personally to me today, as a 61 year old grandma living in Southern Illinois. My hope is that by reading how this applies to me, you will begin wondering how it applies to you, and most importantly, that it will inspire you to read your Bible to dig deep for the treasures it has waiting just for you.
Now, to the point of this post-what does this parable mean to me? I am like the one given only one talent, and for most of my life, I have hidden that talent. When Jesus used the word “talent” in this parable as told by Matthew, that word referred to a large sum of money. But Jesus knew that by the time this parable would be translated into English, the word talent would much more commonly refer to a person’s abilities, what we are naturally good at. I am not exceptionally good at many things, but writing has always been easy for me, I have always loved to write, and if I had to say that I have a talent, writing would be about the only thing I could confidently identify.
Although most of my career has included writing, I have also written journals throughout my life. Those are definitely hidden back in a closet because who wants to read the angst and hope and details of my life? But more recently, I have begun writing fiction. I have a novel that’s about 2/3 complete, two complete short stories, and a couple of children’s books that I am finishing and trying to get illustrated. I have written a lot besides this blog, but I haven’t made any real effort to get my writing published. Fear of rejection and dismay because I know absolutely nothing about the publishing process except that it is complicated with thousands of choices that I will have to make.
The alternative to trying to publish my writing, however, is either to stop writing, which would be a death knell for my spirit, or to keep hiding my “talent.” Neither is acceptable to me. So, I am praying for guidance from my loving Father through this maze of decisions, and I am committing every part of this dream of publishing to Him.
“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 (NLT) In Hebrew, the word for commit is galal. Galal means to roll something away or off, such as rolling a stone off the mouth of a well. As I commit to God this dream and all of the “talent” or gifting God has given me, I thereby have access to the deep wells of His insight, revelation, humor, authority, understanding and love that will insure success. I may not have financial success, or any other kind of success as measured by the world, but what I write will bring glory to God. That is all that matters in the end.
Amen and amen.