Thursday, March 3, 2011

Different Is Good

I had been forewarned, but it was still shocking. The landscape could only be described as desolate and barren. Something that vaguely resembled pictures I'd seen of the moon. Vast, blackened lava fields stretched for miles in every direction. In sharp contrast, the beauty of the ocean reminded me that this really was Hawaii.

From the moment we stepped off the plane, I was aware of the fact that the same God who created the mainland, had created this island with its diverse landscape. A truly unique place, the Big Island boasts varied weather and vegetation depending on your location. Sunshine is plentiful on the west side of the island, with only 10 inches of rainfall a year. Compare that to the 140 inches of rainfall on the east side of the island, and you've just discovered the reason for the huge contrast in landscape!

The lava fields were unlike anything we'd seen before. With a strange beauty all its own, the hardened lava flow reminded me of the leathery hide of an elephant, or the growth rings of an ancient tree. After navigating a portion of unpaved road, simply referred to as 'Nasty' Road by our guide book, we had a deep appreciation for all the work that goes into developing this land and making it habitable.

The landscape wasn't the only thing that stood in sharp contrast to our state of Georgia, the wildlife also served as a constant reminder. From beautiful birds, to ocean animals, the photo opportunities were incredible. Colorful sea creatures and adorable geckos pointed to a Master Designer with limitless creativity.

The same is true of humankind. Each of us is created by that same Master Designer. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them," (Genesis 1:26-27; KJV).

Each one of us is unique. Created for a purpose. The words of the Apostle John verify that purpose, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are created," (Revelation 4:11). When we use the talents and abilities God has given to us to draw attention to Him, we fulfill our purpose.

It's common to desire someone else's ability. But God gifted each one of us a bit differently for a reason. The Apostle Paul spells it out, "For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him," (1 Corinthians 12:14-18).

God's creation is diverse. Rejoice in the way He created you, using your talents and abilities to make much of Him!

Are you satisfied with who God created you to be? Will you use your gifts to magnify Him today?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You today, for the awesome Creator You are! Thank You for the beauty and diversity of your creation. I'm thankful for the way You created me. Forgive me when I desire to have someone else's abilities. Help me to use the unique gifts You've given me, to bring You honor and glory. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. LOVE this post Maria! What a great description of the lava fields. Different is good! I like that and I know it to be true. God used a lot of time and effort to make us all different, so why would we ever want to be the same as someone else? I am excited to be a human being made in His image, He is so creative!
    Thank you Maria, have a wonderful weekend, enjoy!

  2. Great post!

    While you were in Hawaii did you just go to the Big Island? I'm over here on Oahu. :P

  3. It has always been my desire to heal others through my writing, but lately, I don't think I'm doing much of that. These days I'm barely keeping up with my gift. Thanks for this reminder. hugs.

  4. Hi sweet sister, Loved this post but I will say that hubby and I prefer Kauia-it is diverse too. I am trying to walk in those gifts He created in my; sometimes I do well and other times I keep trying. Thanks for making us think about this.
    Hugs, Noreen

  5. I AM satisfied, Maria! Even though some days I'm more hardened lava than lush greenery. Winter does that to a person. :)

    Beautiful post, as always!

  6. I love it that you can take anything and use it as a lesson to help us see God more clearly.

    I've only been to Oahu--the big island sounds fascinating!

  7. Great post! I've tried to get this across to my boys....that God has made each of them unique, and has given them each a doesn't matter what that gift is; the important thing is to use it for God's glory!

  8. Hi Maria,
    A beautiful post as always! Love being here!I am so inspired by the way you use everything and show us ways to learn and to see the Lord even more clearly.
    You are a blessing and I pray that you will make it over here for a visit to England!
    Blessings and hugs.

  9. Wow sister . . . this post really struck a chord in my spirit today . . . especially the first few sentences. Except the Spirit didn't apply it to my physical life, but to my spiritual life . . . my landscape is changing . . . God is on the move and though He has forwarned me . . . I don't think anything can prepare me for what lies ahead. However, in the midst of it all . . . I know the shocking part (although it shouldn't be) is how God is going to "show up" . . . how He is going to deliver me and make evident His sovereignty and power!
    Blessings and big hugs!

  10. Marja - Agreeing with you that God made us all different on purpose! What a creative God we serve - to be able to come up with such an assortment of talents and abilities. Have a beautiful weekend, my friend! God bless you! :)

    Ralene - So funny that we were both in HI! Are you still there? We actually landed in Waikiki and spent the night @ the Hilton Hawaiian Village before hopping over to the Big Island. Enjoy your trip if you're still there - and, I want to hear all about it!! Have a great weekend and God bless!

    Ellie - So glad you stopped by! I pray the verses that were shared gave you hope and encouragement. The fact is, you ARE using your gift, and just a quick look through your comments is proof that you are helping others! Don't let the enemy plant seeds of doubt in you. Here's a some comforting verses to meditate on: Romans 8:35,37 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us!

    Have a peace-filled weekend, my friend! Know that I'm praying for you! Much love

  11. Noreen - Neat to think that even among the Hawaiian islands there is diversity! We've only been to the Big Island and Maui for any length of time. Would love to hear about your time in Kauai! Sometimes it is a bit challenging to develop the gifts that God has instilled in us. I'm reading a good book on the subject, Living a Purpose-Full Life by Jan Johnson. God is always ready to supply just what I need, when I step out in faith to fulfill His will. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!

    Jill - I can SO identify with your statement! I'm definitely more like that hardened lava than I like to admit! Hoping the breath of spring renews your 'greenery'! Those MI winters CAN take a toll - can I put in a plug for GA?! Have an amazing weekend. God bless!

  12. Jen - Thanks for your sweet compliment! As funny as it sounds, the Lord has taught me so much through our pets!

    Where were you on Oahu? We stayed there overnight prior to hopping over to the Big Island. We were in Waikiki and my husband and I said it reminded us a bit of Tampa/St. Pete, FL! Not what we were expecting!

    Have a great weekend and God bless!

    Deborah - Such a good lesson to learn at a young age - especially amongst siblings! There's such a tendency to compare ourselves with others (exactly what the Bible warns us to avoid!). So glad to hear that your instilling this in your boys! Have a fantastic weekend! God bless!

  13. Linda - Great to see you! Thank you for your sweet compliments - can you tell I'm blushing?! How long is the flight to England? I'd love to visit sometime! Also looking forward to your next visit to the states! Tell your daughter I said hello! Hugs to you! God bless, my friend!

    *any updates on the job situation?

    Cherie - So glad the Lord spoke to you through this post. Sounds like you're at an exciting (albeit stressful!) time in your life. I like the fact that you are confident that God WILL show up - you can always count on Him! Hang in there, my sister - I'm certain the journey will be worth it! (If I can pray more specifically for you, don't hesitate to e-mail me: morgan(dot)maria(dot)i(at)gmail(dot)com.
    Hugs and blessings!

  14. Hi Maria -

    When I think of Hawaii, I always see a tropical paradise. I would have been surprised at this scene too.

    Years ago, I wanted to sing like Sandi Patty. God finally got through to me that the only person He wanted me to be like was me.

    Susan :)