Do you have one of those areas? Of course you do. We all do. That thing that, whether we like it or not, we absolutely stink at!
Yet somehow, at some point, we find ourselves having to do that very thing.
I’ve dealt with that thing in ministry. I’ve dealt with it at work. In fact, I’ve got one of those things on my work plate right now. This week it has caused me to spend several hours plodding through a still unfinished task that should have been done in under an hour. Because it’s not my strength. Because I’m not good at it.
But guess what, my friends. Even those things need to be done. And sometimes we get to be the chosen ones. For some reason, the wonderfully gifted just can’t do it this time around. So, it falls to us.
So, we do it.
As frustrating as it can be to have to tackle things that do not fall within our strengths, I believe God has a very grand purpose when He puts the jobs before us.
First, we are reminded that the strength is His, not ours. Why, oh why, do we need that reminder? But we do, don’t we? We go through daily life and rely increasingly on our own strength. Oh, my friend, our strength is so small! Even in the areas of our giftings, our strength is so very limited. And the more we limit our activities to our “natural talents,” the more even those areas of talent become a struggle.
If God is not working through us, then we’re not working successfully. Period. And when we forget that reality, God has to remind us – usually by taking us outside our comfort zones and forcing us to rely on His strength again.
Second, we understand others better. If you are a natural when it comes to working with children, you might not understand my struggle with and aversion to being involved in children’s ministry. On the other hand, if you tell me that a simple sewing pattern looks like a foreign language to you, it will blow my mind. It’s just a pattern. It’s as clear as day. Right?
Just because a task is natural to me does not mean it will be to you, and vice versa. And that’s okay. It really is. Neither of us is deficient in any way. We are not faulty or incomplete.
We say that we know that to be true – we all readily agree that different people have different talents. But, often we forget to make that knowledge a part of our everyday understanding of people. We get irritable when someone else doesn’t “get” it. And God has to put a task before us that stretches us outside our strengths to remind us to be patient with others.
I often like to complain when a task outside my strengths is put before me. But, I should instead thank God for the opportunity to stretch myself and better appreciate those who typically do the task. (And believe me, I’m very appreciative this week!) May that become our faithful response!