Recently I was gifted some peonies, but because I was in a rush, I left them in their wrapping and put them in a vase. A day or so later I went to unwrap them, only to find that they had started to wilt because they hadn’t been treated properly. To last longer, they needed their plant food, light and space in water. That’s what happens to us. When we try to follow others’ callings or suppress our gifting or don’t live out God’s best for us, we can end up wilting or feeling out of sorts, and being constrained, because we haven’t treated ourselves properly.
‘Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.’ (1 Corinthians 12:15-20 NIV)
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with the image of an apple core in my head. Immediately, I thought about the core being the waste of the apple and how it was the flesh of the fruit that was the useful, important part. However, as I ruminated on this image more and more, the words ‘stored potential’ came to mind. I realised that it was the core, which contains the apple seeds, that carries the potential to birth new trees, and therefore new fruit, if they are planted. It made me think about how, often when everything has been stripped away in our lives, we get down to the stored potential within us. It’s more often when we are at our rawest, when we’ve been rocked by life events, that what we are really made of can come to light. It can be in these moments that we re-evaluate our lives and really begin to look at the things that God wants to do in and through us. That stored potential is within every one of us, but how many of us are tapping into that God-given potential? If we would just surrender our need to be in control or our feelings of insecurity which tell us that dream is impossible, He can begin to release those hopes and dreams that He has placed in every one of us, the ones that if we step out boldly, God can bring to fruition. The alternative is we leave those seeds of stored potential unplanted and suppressed within us, and chalk them up as unfulfilled dreams.
‘They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran.There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anakthere. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites,Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:26-33 NIV)
Think of a battery. It contains this power that will only be unleashed once it is in the correct environment, that is, an object which needs exactly that size and number of batteries. A battery still has the power within it if it is lying on the kitchen table, but that power is only useful when it is exactly where it is called to be. It’s not enough JUST to be full of stored potential, we’ve got to apply it as well.
“The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land,because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Numbers 14: 7-9 NIV)
We are all full of stored potential- use yours.