According to the Word, each of us was individually and uniquely made. It was God that blew the breath of life into these bodies giving us meaning and purpose. It was the same God that gave us our gifts and talents that were to be used in helping us achieve the divine missions that He planned for us. So quite literally all we can do is all that is possible for us. You are not alike many others… many others are not like you. You were never intended to walk in their shoes nor where they in yours. It is totally amazing at just how precise the Potter was when He made each of the pots that He made.
In spite of knowing what I just stated… in the depth of my heart I still look at others and wonder why I wasn’t given more. Why I don’t have all the luxuries that I see others have? I see the gifts the Lord made in others and I am jealous. I tend to allow envy to come into my heart more than it should. At one point back in the day I wanted to compete with the Joneses. I wanted what I saw others had. All of these human emotions are natural to us. Part of that trait can be inspirational in making us seek to do better, to achieve higher goals and even to try to achieve perfection. Those in itself can be good human qualities. But when we allow it to turn into envy, jealousy, spite, outbursts of wrath, revelries, dissensions, selfish ambitions and the like, that is where the problem lies. When we allow such acts to invade our hearts and minds it becomes toxic and even evil. It began to etch into the soul and spirit. That ought not to be.
Somehow we must learn to be content with the things that we were given and even strive to use our gifts to the highest degree possible. If you have the gift of healing then become the best healer that you can. If your gift is a great singer then become the songbird of angels. If you are a great musician then allow that gift to show the glory of the Maker that lives in you. If you are a shoemaker then make the best shoes that you know will bring pleasure to others. No matter what your gift is just do the very best that you can knowing that it was your Maker that gave you your gift. It was given in order to lift up the body of God. So for heaven’s sake, do all you can do but make sure it is with the spirit of elevating the body rather than merely for selfish gains.
This is made quite evident in the Serenity Prayer that is attributes to an American theologian names Reinhold Niebuhr. His original prayer was:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
Over the years the prayer expanded and was adopted and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step-programs. Such a prayer has been widely used and made popular for those seeking to quit additions such as alcohol or drugs. It could be expanded to quit obsessive behaviors of many kind as well as many of the negative characteristics mentioned above. Most of us have these traits to a degree and some are better equipped to control them than others. If you have a problem controlling things such as anger, jealousy, envy or spite, and the like, this would be a great prayer to use. Can you imagine the countless number of people who have either used or benefited from this simple prayer?
As we struggle with our personal imperfections wouldn’t it be nice to ask God to give us the strength to accept our faults that we do not have the power to overcome alone. This is not surrendering to the demon that you are in battle with but acknowledging that you do not have the power to change something in you. It is turning it over to God and seeking His strength to assist in overcoming the battle. It says, “not my will but Thy will Oh Lord.” It further goes on to ask God for the courage to make the changes that we can with His help. When we pray… God can lift us up but we eventually have to stand up and use the courage that He gives us. Many people want to pray and wait on the Lord to do the work not realizing that God is giving them the power to stand up and believe they can, If they do not believe they can… then it renders prayer ineffective.
The many times Christ healed different people during His ministry… the question He asked most of them was, “do you believe that I am able to do this?” If they believed in Him then they were instantly healed. We are given the courage to believe but if you do not believe, then what is the good is having courage. If anyone lacks courage then let them ask of the Lord and He will give it abundantly, but when you ask you must believe that He can before you may receive the blessing.
Finally the prayer seek the wisdom to realize the difference between accepting there are some things that we do not have the power to change and others that we need the courage or faith to believe that we can change. Our faith is not in our power, but in God’s power. We must believe by faith that God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves in our battles against certain things. Again, our belief is not in our willpower or our self-control, but in God’s almighty power over all things on earth or in the heavens. We accept the fact that what is impossible to man is entirely possible for God. And there comprise our power. To God be the power and the glory for change.
So in essence all we can do is to surrender our power over to an even higher power that can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. There will be times when all you can do is to surrender the situation over to God. Perhaps we should be willing to take the same advice that we give to our children, just do the very best that you can and leave the rest up to God… Selah!