To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. (Dan. 1:17)

I WAS A BOOKISH SORT OF GIRL. My brothers had to be called in from the barn for supper. I had to be called away from my room, where I was curled up with a classic novel or thrilling memoir. I love reading and writing, and from a young age I knew I would have a career that involved both. Am I gifted? I never thought so. Yet if Daniel and his companions were “gifted” at understanding literature, am I? Did God place this love of literature within me?

Fast forward a few years. I now teach literature and creative writing to college students, many of whom are the first in their families to pursue higher education. Some of them struggle to learn, and I do my best to inspire them with my love of reading and writing. At the end of one semester, a student wrote me a letter to say that she never would have stuck in college if it weren’t for me. “You just kept believing in me even when I had a bad attitude. You didn’t just teach me to write sentences, you showed me how to have hope again. You probably have no idea you did this, but you brought me back to God.”

Daniel and his friends were gifted with learning, and they used those gifts to advance God’s purposes in the court of a secular king. How has God gifted you? How can you use that gift for His purpose?

Be alert for an opportunity to use your gift for God’s purpose.

Heather Gemmen Wilson is the author of the Global Warning Series (WPH), a fiction series for preteens, and she inspires young minds as a professor of creative writing.

© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.