Links Daily Devotional

Links Daily Devotional editor Jeff Hopper talks with long-time LPGA Tour player Tracy Hanson about the strengths of her golf game when she was playing professionally.

Skills We Are Given

Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship… He hasfilled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer.”  (Exodus 35: 30-31, 35, ESV)

When I joined the golf team at San Jose State University, I was a nervous 17-year old and an average player from northern Idaho. I felt small and out of my league. A few top colleges recruited me because of my junior golf accomplishments, but I had a lot to learn in order to compete at the collegiate level.

Coach Gale took a chance on me and believed in my potential, but it was my responsibility to practice every day to build upon the skills I brought to this new level of play. Motivation, perseverance, and thousands of golf balls later resulted in finishing my collegiate career as one of the top-ranked female players in the country.

Throughout my career I improved in all areas of the game, but my iron play always remained my greatest strength. Likewise, as we grow and mature in our relationship with the Lord, we gain the eyes to see the unique skills and strengths he has given each one of us to impact our world. This kaleidoscope of talents makes our world colorful and dynamic.

During the years when the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, God gifted his people with different talents. The engraver, designer, embroiderer and weaver not only had skill, they also had intelligence, knowledge and craftsmanship. And they were filled with the Spirit of God! These people held the awesome privilege of building God’s tabernacle. I have been in the Middle Eastern culture several times and I would suggest these Israelites not only embraced their different skills, they also understood how they fit together for the good of the entire community.

For more than thirty years, I spent hundreds of hours refining my golf skills. My work ethic and perseverance were two strengths that helped me succeed as a golfer and are still a part of who I am today. As I explore my passions and new interests away from golf, God is revealing new strengths I never knew I had. How about you…do you know your strengths?

Reading the story about how the Israelites honored their skills has opened my eyes to the importance of celebrating my own. We need to name our strengths and be willing to ask someone for help if needed. Then we can build into these strengths by practicing them daily. Lastly, God desires us to value other people’s strengths by encouraging them and enjoying how they bring goodness to our places of work and worship, to our families and friendships.

Tracy Hanson
April 28, 2014
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