God’s Growing Someone Else
You ever get jealous of others? I mean, I certainly don’t!! I was just wondering about you!
You ever watch someone else and how they have SO much faith? You can just see that no matter what comes their way they are set on Jesus and joy is ever a part of them! You wonder, “How did she GET there!? MAN! I just wish I had an ounce of that!”
Or maybe you read a book and the author is SO gifted and their words are so eloquent (I just misspelled “eloquent” and had to look it up. See? Reason to be jealous.) You might just let a little feeling of envy sneak in because all your life you’d thought it would be SO great to write like that. The stories that they tell of God’s faithfulness and their use of scripture and quotes just show how well read they are and you think, “God! Why can’t I do that!?”
Then there are those who can sing, or play an instrument, and they are just amazing with their talent and when they worship they just SHINE because they are so in their element! You see worship just ooze from their very beings because they are right where God wants them to be, and it’s no surprise to anyone because it’s so obvious that He is at work in them and through them!
There’s also the amazing Bible teacher! I mean their ability to organize information and the research that they do and then their ability to communicate that in an interesting or effective format? Lives are changed by their dedication to God’s Word and their willingness to put themselves in front of others to proclaim His truths! Well, it just makes me want to go home and try that myself!!
I can write all of those examples because I have thought every single one of those examples. I have struggled with seeing the “success” of someone else’s faith and I have thought that somehow God has left me out. Like when He was handing out certain gifts of talents maybe He just skipped me!
For a little while I struggled with this in my heart until one day I saw the truth of the matter. Through reading God’s Word (and the conviction of the Holy Spirit) He showed me something. The gifts and talents that those people are exercising are given straight from God. It is under His control as to who receives the gifts and talents that He provides. His Word tells us (in Romans 12) that everyone has been given a gift of grace and that we are all members of one body…. HIS body of believers. We are also told that we are to exercise those gifts and abilities to HIS glory, and not our own.
So while I was so busy being jealous of other people and their gifts and abilities I was doing NOTHING to exercise my own.
I started thinking about those people again. You know, those that I’d had jealous feelings about? Well, when I think about HOW they got to where they are often times their talents were honed out of pain.
One particular writer went through great personal loss and pain before she ever put a pen to paper about it. It was too painful to relive! But God began to speak to her heart and He enabled her to write her story (and it reads like flowing honey!) so that she could help others dealing with the same struggles.
I can promise you this. I may have been jealous over her ability to write, but the road it took to get there? I would NEVER trade my life for what she’s been through. I am not sure, but for the hand of a sovereign God, that I would have come out on the other side.
I’ve heard missionaries tell of their incredible faith that God is at work in the country that they have served for years even though they have seen very few people come to Christ. It has made me jealous of that faith until I have realized that they have lived in the harshest conditions of no running water, no food, no heat, no one that spoke their language and have been isolated, but GOD was faithful to provide for them each day. THAT is where that faith has grown.
Sometimes people use their talents out of simple praise to God for what He has done to deliver them from certain destruction. They have worked on their craft of speaking or preparing simply because it came down to that person having NOTHING else, but God. They’ve dedicated their very life to knowing Him because of what He has done for them, and I was jealous of this? Could I have endured what they endured?
I have decided that there’s an inkling of talent in my body. It’s not because I put it there or have done something to deserve it, but because God Himself, in His grace, saw fit to allow me to have a tablespoon.
And so it’s time. It’s time to stop looking at everyone else’s gifts and abilities and it’s time to take the tablespoon that God has blessed me with and DO something. It is not up to me as to WHO God has blessed with more talent or with WHAT talent, but it IS up to me as to what I do with my OWN talent.