How many times have you met someone who felt they had nothing really viable to offer in some greater effort? How often have you been that person? It seems all too easy to convince ourselves that our skills sets don’t exactly lend themselves well to bigger picture events. We are professionals at listing off reasons why we couldn’t possibly do something without ever even trying in the first place.
Christians are no exception. All too often we get ourselves entrenched in this idea that the men and women of the Bible were equipped far beyond ourselves and so we, therefore, couldn’t possibly do anything of value on that level. “I’m not cut out to go from person to person telling them about Jesus like the disciples did!” We cry. Maybe you’re not called to serve God that way, but why are we stopping our investigation into service there? We serve a rather powerful God. It might bear consideration that he knew what he was doing when he made you with the skills you have and has a plan for how you could live your life on mission. And those skills might not look like everyone else.
Think of it this way. Say you are on a boat dedicated solely to rescuing shipwrecked sailors at sea. You get to the site of the shipwreck and see drowning people in the water who all need saving. Now imagine you and every single member of your crew jump into the water to start saving people because that’s what you’re here to do. And now your ship is floating away in the storm and you are all in need of rescue.
It would be a total disaster if everyone present tried to do the exact same job because they deemed it the most vital to the operation. There are far too many things that need to happen for that to be the case. Yes, someone needs to get into the water and make the rescue, but that’s not the only job that needs to happen. Someone needs to keep the boat on course and steady. Someone needs to check the rescue swimmer’s equipment before they get into the water. Someone needs to watch the rescuer’s back for their own safety as they make the rescue. Someone needs to be ready to receive the survivors and make them feel safe again and someone needs to see to the needs of injured survivors. Someone even needs to be all the way back on shore waiting to receive the ship and take over the operation.
In Acts 9, A story is told of Peter raising a woman from death. While that in itself is amazing work. I’ve learned to focus on the woman herself in this story: Tabitha. We are told “She was full of good works and acts of charity”, and when Peter arrives her loss is being felt acutely by all who knew her. The mourners present showed Peter the garments that Tabitha had made for them and clothed them in. That was what Tabitha did. She clothed people. She saw a need in the mission and by golly, she filled it. For her, it was as simple (and probably as complicated) as that. Tabitha hadn’t wasted away her time trying to be just like everyone else and their gift; she got to work using hers and started living her life on mission.
Being a Christian means you are now part of the largest rescue operation ever to be staged. This is a life and death situation. Decisions made will save lives or lose them. There is work to be done, and our time on earth is far too short to waste. But like the rescue ship, we are not all cut out to do the exact same job. That being said, whatever your job is, you better make well sure that you are doing it. There are things in this world that would love nothing more than to ensure you aren’t doing that one thing you excel at because of how it can aid the rescue mission.
Don’t be deterred by how small your gift may seem when you have no idea the ripples it could create for the glory of God. If you are an accountant, find a way to crunch numbers for the kingdom. If you are amazing at watching kids start babysitting for the kingdom. If you have receptionist skills unlike anything ever seen, start answering phone calls, taking messages, and organizing calendars for the kingdom. Because phones will need to be answered in areas of the rescue operation.
Put in much better words in Romans 12:3-8: “ For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
So, with love, stop worrying if you can do what someone else is called to do and start moving where you are gifted. Give God some credit. He might just know what to do with your gifts and know exactly where they are needed. The rescue mission can use your skills, not you pretending you have someone else’s gifts.
Let's find some joy,
I'm hooked and look forward to Thursday after Thursday to read Avalons story. Beautiful writing that makes you look into yourself.
Thanks Avalon. Great blog today.