DayBreaks for 03/12/13 – Just Figs, Nothing More
Luke 13:6 (ESV) – And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
The world-famous writer, Somerset Maugham, said it best in his autobiography, Summing Up, “I knew that I had no lyrical quality, a small vocabulary, little gift of metaphor. The original and striking simile never occurred to me. Poetic flights…were beyond my powers. On the other hand, I had an acute power of observation, and it seemed to me that I could see a great many things that other people missed. I could put down in clear terms what I saw…I knew that I should never write as well as I could wish, but I thought, with pains, that I could arrive at writing as well as my natural defects allowed.” Somerset Maugham discovered the secret of genius.”
As a wanna-be writer myself, I can identify with Maugham’s statement: “I knew that I should never write as well as I could wish…” I feel the same about my efforts at photography – as much as I would like to be, I’m no Rodney Lough or Ansel Adams. In fact, I’m embarrassed to have people look at my pictures! I will never be as good of a husband or father as I should have been, or could be. Why? Because of my “natural defects” and my God-given abilities.
I’m sure that there are things you try to do that, no matter how hard you try, you don’t feel as if it was done as well as you would have liked. Maybe you like to paint but have never painted a masterpiece to rival the Sistine Chapel. Maybe you write poetry but are no Elizabeth Barrett Browning. And maybe you feel badly about it.
Let me suggest that you need not feel that way. Life does not ask us to become what we are not. In the parable of the fig tree, the tree was neither required nor expected to produce a variety of fruit like apples, oranges and bananas. Just figs. That’s all…just figs. And not even the best figs in the world!
It isn’t just life that is that way, it is Jesus, too. You and I are asked by the Lord only to accomplish what our natural gifts allow, not to be as strong as Samson, as great of a leader as Moses or as magnificent of an evangelist as Paul, or as great of a mother as Mary must have been. But we are asked to accomplish what Jesus has given us to do through our gifting and abilities. He isn’t down on you because you’re not sinlessly perfect. He’s not down on you because you can’t teach like He did. But if He gave you the gift of teaching, He expects you to use that gift as best you can….not as well as someone else can.
Don’t let your gifts lie idle because you think you’re not good enough to use them. If He gave you the gift…it’s good enough for Him, and who are we to question His judgment?
PRAYER: Jesus, thank You for what You have gifted us to do. Help us to accept our limitations, glory in Your limitlessness, and use what You have entrusted wisely! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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