Exodus 31:1-18, Jeremiah 31:31-34, 2 Corinthians 3:1-3
The thick wooden needles click as I methodically run the silvery blue yarn end over end. Knot after knot, I’m learning to knit. My mom recently took up the craft, so I asked her to teach me. The older I get, the more I begin to realize all she has taught me over the years. From the things I find funny, to the way I measure flour, and from my slightly defensive (i.e., aggressive) driving habits, to the way I converse at a dinner party—I see her touch on every facet of my life.
Each thing my mom has taught me throughout my life is truly a gift, some of which I’m just now beginning to appreciate. Hopefully, each of us has had someone who has guided and touched our lives in this way, be it a parent, teacher, mentor, or friend.
These dear people can pass on great gifts of wisdom, love, and inspiration. What’s so beautiful about these relationships and the many gifts, talents, and skills they bestow, is that they give us a taste of God’s love. When Jesus spoke to the crowds, He made it clear that our Father in heaven gives even greater gifts to those who ask (Matthew 7:11).
We catch an early glimpse of the Father’s gift-giving heart in our Old Testament reading for today. In the midst of outlining the intricate structures that needed to be built for keeping the covenant, we see God breathing His Spirit into the craftsman, Bezalel.
The Lord gave His people the huge task of building a holy place for Him to dwell. They were instructed to craft the tent of meeting, ark of the testimony, mercy seat, altar, holy garments, and more. I can only imagine how overwhelming it might have been to receive those blueprints from God. But the Lord did not leave His people without help. He filled Bezalel “with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship” and “gave all able men ability” to create what God commanded (Exodus 31:3,6).
Each and every time God commanded His people to act in His name, He also equipped them. Here we see a picture of a God who wants His people to succeed in the co-creation of beautiful and sacred things. He is not testing the artisans, hoping to prove their weakness. He is calling the artisans, eager to aid their victory.
The same holds true for all who follow Jesus today. If God has called you to something, He will equip you for it. Isn’t that amazing? So often we wish the world would be different. We pray for the kingdom of heaven to come, but we don’t realize that God has given us the skills, wisdom, and the Spirit to help build His kingdom here on Earth.
God used Bezalel and the skilled artisans to build His temple, not because He needed them, but because He wanted them to participate in His mission. The Lord delights in allowing His children to be co-laborers in kingdom work (1 Corinthians 3:9). Wherever you feel God calling you to help build His kingdom, ask the Lord to equip you. You have a generous Father in heaven who is waiting to help you carry out His work.
Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Katie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.