Going From Ordinary to Extraordinary

Lynette HaginBy Lynette Hagin

Several years ago, my husband and I invited our pastoral staff over to our house, and we wound up playing a game that involved drawing pictures. As soon as someone suggested playing that game, my mind went back to the experiences I had in art class during my school days. There were times when I would burst into tears because I simply could not draw.

One of our associate pastors, a pretty good artist, said, “Oh, everybody can draw.”

But I told him, “I know my strengths and my weaknesses. Art is not my strength. In fact, it’s one of my biggest weaknesses.”

When my turn came, I drew my picture and it was pretty bad. Our associate pastor looked at me and gasped, “That’s horrible!” You talk about having a poor self-image! After he said that, I really had one. But the truth is, art is just not my talent.

Another time when the pastoral staff was at our house, we decided to play a musical game. We were supposed to select a word and then sing a song with that word in it.

When we played that game, I always thought of exactly the right song. That’s because I knew so many Christian songs from being involved in church all of my life. Later, one of the pastors nicknamed me “The Eternal Songbook,” because knowing all of those songs is one of my talents.

To fulfill God’s plan for our lives, we have to learn to be content with who He created us to be and what talents He’s given us. Instead of criticizing ourselves and demeaning God’s creation, we should say to the Lord as David did, “. . . Marvelous are Your works . . .” (Ps. 139:14 NKJV). We should tell Him, “God, You did a good job.”

I’m reminded of the parable Jesus told in Matthew 25:14–30 of three servants who were each given a certain number of talents. In that particular story, a talent was a form of money, but the story also illustrates the importance of using the natural talents God has given us.

In that parable, one of the servants was given five talents, and he invested them and brought back 10 talents to his master. One was given two talents, which he also invested, and he brought his master back four talents.

But the servant who was given only one talent dug a hole in the ground and buried it. He hid his talent and didn’t use it for his lord. And his master was furious with him.

So many times we’re like the servant who was given one talent. We don’t do anything with the talent God has given us because we’re constantly dwelling on the talents we don’t have, or we’re focusing on our insufficiencies or what we can’t do. In some cases, we’re not using our talents because we’re jealous of the talents the Lord has given someone else. God wants us to be thankful for the talents He’s given us, as well as to appreciate those He’s given other people.

Let me give you another example of what I’m talking about here. My husband sometimes thinks I’m weird because I like to organize everything, and I also like to write procedures. He thinks that’s weird because doing those things is work to him. He is not an organizer by nature, and he doesn’t like procedures.

On the other hand, my husband doesn’t mind making decisions, and after he makes them, he doesn’t worry about whether people like him. But making decisions and handling conflict stresses me out, because I want everybody to like me.

Each one of us has our own special gifts and talents, and we need to appreciate the gifts God has given us, as well as the gifts He’s given to others. We wouldn’t be happy being clones.

God made you just the way He wanted you to be. If you’re short, be content with that. If you’re tall, be content with being tall. It’s important for us not to criticize God’s workmanship. He made you perfect according to His specifications. He made you exactly the way you need to be to fulfill His plan.

Now, we still should try to improve ourselves. But the Enemy would love for us to focus on our “I can’ts” instead of our “I cans.” No. We need to focus on our being “. . . fearfully and wonderfully made . . .” (Ps. 139:14). And we need to remember that God is the Master of taking ordinary people and doing extraordinary things with their lives. Besides, it’s not about our great characteristics or abilities. It’s about our great God!

Faith Nugget

‘Why, Lord, Why?’

One of the biggest obstacles to our contentment is constantly questioning the Lord. God doesn’t mind us asking Him for specific answers when we’re troubled. But He doesn’t want us trapped in the questioning realm.

Proverbs 3:5–6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (NKJV).

When setbacks and adverse circumstances surround us, instead of asking why, let’s put our trust in the Lord. We can’t do anything about what has already happened, but we can fix our eyes on God’s Word and press into Him. As we do, we will find peace and contentment. And God will bring us through to victory!