Monday, December 10, 2012

Thank God for the Ability

The Apostle Peter implores Christians:
“If you call God your Father, live your time as temporary residents on earth.”
— 1 Peter 1:17 (GWT).
The Problem
Rusty (by name, not by nature) has, as always, rather a lot on just now. Christian in pedigree, but with heavy responsibilities also in secular life, he often feels at odds with his faith.
With so much work pressure he constantly feels there’s little ability to help others as he would like to. As a result, many efforts to help are usually tinged with inner frustration. He knows it’s not the right mental approach. But he can’t do everything, right?
Analysing Life
Life seems onerously long, or, for some, far too short. Yet, length of life is not really the point from an eternal perspective. Part of our problem, when we have the wrong perspective, is we look too inwardly and our gaze is of a worldly comparison and means.
From this position it’s easy to see the many and varying injustices; to exert inner complaint because of them. (The trouble is many inner complaints spill over into outer life.) There are so many things unworthy of our time, effort, and mental or emotional concern.
Still, God has us here.
Meaning for Life
The Lord gives us many things, including the gifts we have and all the resources available to us that enable the God-anointed use of those gifts.
Next time someone asks us to do something we would rather not, but of course we can do, perhaps we should think twice whether it’s God’s will or not. The important thing in these situations is our willingness to surrender to God; it’s not really about the other person or the situation. Are we open to God or not?
Instead of resenting the interruption, or the lack of consideration on others’ parts, we can quietly thank God for the ability we have to meet the need before we set about assisting the person. This is not so much doing the thing for them, but patiently assisting as God would have us assist. Many times this is about referring their problem back to them via questions or referrals.
The motive achieving this is our focus on our citizenship of heaven. We’re guests here and we want to honour both our host and our Father.
When we view life as a fleeting vapour, but also as an important visit away from our heavenly home, we note what God has sent with us—our gifts; every single one. Our key to contented obedience is asking: Can I help? Especially in the little things, where we have the ability, do we also have the willingness?
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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