I recently attended a barbecue (bbq) party at my friend’s house and it was a wonderful experience. About a week later an illustration was revealed to me while praying.
2 Timothy 1:6-
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
The word ‘fan’ immediately brought my memory back to the party.
My friends had gotten a disposable bbq foil tray because they didn’t exactly have the bbq equipment and this was easy to use. The food was ready for grilling but it was raining heavily.
Apart from that we had never used the tray before so we were clueless on what to do. So I used my umbrella to shade the tray while another friend went out to get smoking papers that would make the tray flammable. Once started, he had to constantly fan the coal to keep the fire burning.
Whether it’s a coal tray or traditional firewood method, you always have to fan the flame. This ensures that there’s enough oxygen to keep the fire burning.
As I thought about this experience, I understood clearer what Paul meant by his instruction to Timothy. If you don’t fan the talent it will die and become cold.
As I mentioned, it was raining. Another thing we can understand from this is that there will be storms in life. According to Reverend Funke Felix-Adejumo in her message ‘Love Affairs’, “every man has his midnight.” Storms are part of seasons of life. They don’t last but when they happen you need to be shaded.
One of the illustrations Pastor Malcolm Baxter of Heart Church gave was about standing under the umbrella. He was talking about tithing in the series ‘It starts with the heart’. His illustration showed that when we obey God by giving ten percent of our income, our finances come under the covering of God like an umbrella. In the same way, when you are saved and serve God, you are covered when the storm comes. However, we need to remain under the covering of God so that our talents will not be destroyed. These destroyers are sin, laziness, fear, faithlessness, wrong relationships and worldly pursuits.
The smoke paper is like the fuel that helps the coal tray to burn brighter, like in Nigeria we use kerosene for firewood. The Holy Spirit is a necessary personality in our lives. He is the anointing that guides us, teaches us and strengthens us.. Through the Holy Spirit, God is able to implant ideas in you that will set you apart. He’s a constant source of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
Finally, we are aware that the coal tray represents the gifts and talents that God has placed in us. The coal tray was for a purpose which was to grill the sausages, grill the burgers and roast the corn. What would have been the point of lighting the coal tray and letting it burn for no reason. There is a purpose for which God has gifted us. There is also a place for using this purpose to bless others. When the tray is lit, it gives off fire and smoke which add to making the taste of the food unique. The same way we should use the gift God has given us to fuel and flavour the lives of others.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Scott Mirams in Flickr