They picked me up to go and watch their swimming lessons. It was the fourth and final week of lessons for this summer and I had been hearing for weeks of their progression. Even now, they were listing all they had learned. Four year old, Jocelyn stating she could hold her “breath and swim under the water really far”.
The car was suddenly quiet and from the backseat came the question, “But when am I going to get my tail?”
“Yes, I want to be a mermaid.”
Amidst laughter, we explained people cannot grow a tail as mermaids are pretend. The question and conversation have continued to weave themselves through my mind for a few days now.
Jocelyn’s question has hinted at a longing which lies in us all … we want to be more and do more. Often we want to be and do as those around us.
We forget God has made us uniquely with personalities and abilities paired with His purpose for our life.
“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.” (Romans 12:6, NLT)
We all have different gifts and abilities. As we each share our gift, the Church comes together and functions in unity and diversity. Each one is needed and our lives enhanced as we do our part.
God did not intend for us all to be the same. In longing to be like someone else, we miss altogether who He intends for us to be. With our eyes on others, we overlook the opportunities He puts before us each day.
Peter gives us THREE guidelines on our gifts:
- Embrace variety. “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts” (1 Peter 4:10, NLT). Our gifts and abilities were meant to be different by His design.
- Serve each other. “Use them well to serve one another” (verse 10). We have been given gifts to manage and use to the benefit of one another. Who can you bless today?
- Expend yourself. “Do it [that which God has called you to] with all the strength and energy that God supplies” (verse 11). We must rely on His power to carry out the tasks He places in our lives.
As we embrace who we are, serve one another, and do it with all our strength, something both powerful and amazing occurs –
“Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Christ Jesus. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.” (verse 12)
And so today I pray for my granddaughters … Thank you, Lord, for these two beautiful girls whom You created uniquely and so different, even from one another. May they each embrace their differences and grow in the gifts and abilities You have wired in them. May they not want to be other than themselves as they come to recognize that only in being themselves will they find purpose. Help them to accept that while they may not be able to be everything and do all things, they will do what you have called them to with perfection. May they embrace who You have created them to be with humility and live to bring You glory. It is in Your Name I pray. Amen.