A pain in the butt pebble dropper

“What gifts have you been given?”

I was asked that question some years ago by someone very special. I was referred to 1 Corinthians 12. A filling-up of the Holy Spirit. An indwelling of God the Father. An empty vessel revamped and refilled like a rechargeable battery. A walking talking spiritual dynamo. I became very excited. What super-powers were mine? How was I to save the world? The gifts on offer were impressive – even if they were not as comprehensive as I would have liked. The list of available options rather restrictive – but hey-ho: superheroes are superheroes. So I had a ferret through the bag on offer. Played with this one and that one. Found that none really came in my size. So I was urged to pray for guidance and discernment. I did.

Yet I never found the answer to that question. And I am not sure there is an answer for me. Maybe for others. As the years have passed it seems that me being me is good enough for both Him and me.

Speaking in tongues? Well my regional accent and way of seeing things seems to deliver that as far as others are concerned. “I don’t understand you, Paul … what did you say?” being a common response. Casting out demons? No idea what that is all about, yet walking without fear amongst some pretty scary peeps is now a way of life – does that count? Miraculous powers? Like Britain’s Got Talent: “work on that for the next audition – we need something really show-stopping from you.” Healing the sick? We have the good old NHS for that – that is where I go. And I am now finding that even the much touted “prayer power” and “prayer warriors” concept confuses me. As though God has this heavenly ”PrayerOmeter” we need to make go “WAPWAPWAP” before He delivers the list of goodies.

All in all it has been something of a let-down. Being indwelt and outflowed – and seemingly outflowing with nothing but questions rather than superhero gifts.

“Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money – not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’ They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.” Luke 9:1-6

And I wonder …

Whether we all get too caught up this superhero/superheroine gig. That we get too embroiled in labels – someone else’s labels. That we too often allow that to undermine who we each “really are” … what we each have really (already) been given … what power we each (already) have.

Because I have yet to see “dropping pebbles in a still pond” written anywhere as a “biblical/spiritual gift”. Yet more and more I sense He smiles when I accept and enjoy that “gift”. And I have yet to see being “a royal pain in the butt” described anywhere on that list of gifts. Yet He seems to have endowed me with more than my fair share of that ability. And yes – I do see Love described as the greatest gift of all. Now that I can buy into with delight and enthusiasm – yet it has taken many many years for the penny to drop even with something so obvious.

So I wonder …

How much do others struggle with the superpowers list of spiritual gifts? Seeking the “right” costume, the “right” attributes, the “right” persona to wear? Because maybe it is time to simply enjoy the relationship He desires and that we each seek. Time to leave this list of superpowers to Him. To allow Him to determine who, how and where it fits. Maybe it is time to simply say thank you for who and what we each already are. To appreciate who and what others already are. Time to stop pining for our own superhero costume.

Because isn’t that outfit and gig just something to impress others? To massage our own ego? And isn’t that telling Him that we know better? A sort of internal “LookAtMeOmeter” we try and make go WAPWAPWAP – loud enough for Him to deliver the goodies.

So I think I am finally done with that approach.

I think I accept and appreciate the gift of being a pain in the butt pebble dropper.

Yay Lord! Thank you! Now let’s make a few ripples for You to use in whatever way You see fit.


14 thoughts on “A pain in the butt pebble dropper

  1. Oh, Paul. This is such a relief to read. I thought it was only me. The “love” part, I got. The other gifts seem to have been handed out on a day I accidentally slept in?!? I know He loves me in spite of my inability to speak in tongues or cast out anything but chocolate stains on my kids shirts. Thank you for this!!!!


    • Skye – and thank you! I read your reply and chuckled!! “Slept in” – love that!! And now I know there are at least two of us! Wahoo!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      (And BTW – I see your words and pictures – your honesty and courage – and I know that you were not sleeping. I am guessing you were in the VIP section where He keeps the “A la Carte” menu and all those rare wonderful delicacies)


  2. Skye and Paul. You are both spiritually gifted and use them often. You are both encouragers to the body of believers. You bring much joy to many each day from God’s Word. It’s fun that He made us all different and with different gifts. I don’t speak in tongues or heal the sick or raise the dead either, but then again, maybe all of us who share God’s Word do heal the sick and raise some of the dead each time we present God’s Word and a person responds to the Word. We are who He made us to be and that makes us very special indeed. Great post Paul.😀


  3. God is still working on the Love your neighbor as yourself part with me. I will gladly let him. All I want to do is bring glory to his name. I believe everything we do on earth in our time here is a dress rehearsal for what’s to come. We are never going to reach a super Christian status here. Ask Billy Graham or some of the other great leaders. Mother Teresa had all kinds of spiritual gifts . You Paul are endowed with many spiritual gifts from God. All that ask receive that which God chooses to go for his purposes. Yes love is the greatest some think they have it until a enemy or difficult time comes along. Then some do have the most important gift of all. Love. You my friend have many gifts. Wisdom, discernment, encourager, healer, and yes you do love mankind. I admire you for who you are. Through God using your obedience thousands miles away, you have brought Love, kindness, gentleness, patience, humbleness and healing into my heart. I tell the story daily. Enough now. I want something to write about when the time is right.

    Much love Tom


  4. Ah, the age old struggle in our hearts. Some of the “greats” from times past struggled with this – and yet they still walked in healing the sick, raising the dead, etc.
    I know modern ones who had great ministry in healing the sick (ie: John Wimber) struggled quite a while with no one being healed when he prayed – he just prayed anyway and then one day….. it happened.
    But Love is the greatest……..that you have, Friend. More will come if you want it. Just keep loving and gathering the ripples from the pebbles…….
    🙂 cate b


    • Cate you are a gift.
      The most wonderful thing about relationship I find is the “not”. Not having to do or be anything other than who I am. It is most liberating. Much more rewarding. And so much more fun! 🙂


  5. So much wisdom here. God is a Master Craftsman, not an assembly line worker. He designs each of us with a different purpose. The Spirit bestows specific gifts allowing us to carry out that purpose. We make our deliveries in different ways – some loudly, which much fanfare. Others, quietly, as pebbles in a pond, or a gardener sowing seeds. Either way, ripples or harvest abound as His living water pours through.

    So glad you are you, dirt brother. ❤


    • Susan, I missed your comment. My apologies.

      Because you add something special: “The Spirit bestows specific gifts …” And maybe it is less to with asking, rather it is more to do with as and when they are right … are needed … are “useful”. And I wonder (if like so much) to the recipient “it just is” – and it is a “wow” to those around. Maybe.


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