The Prayer For Hard Stuff

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.  Hebrews 13:20-21 

There’s a certain kind of personality type that enjoys taking aptitude tests.  I am one of them.  I like to see how people are wired and understand why they do what they do.  My enjoyment includes the exploration of spiritual gifts.  It’s a wonderful thing for a person to discover their unique areas of giftedness; gifts that are birthed, sharpened, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

But as the book of Hebrews closes, the writer has bigger dreams for his audience.  He’s not only wanting them to do what they do well, he blesses them to be fully equipped in every area of their lives to accomplish God’s work.  He is thinking of the whole person, the one who is fully mature and spiritually well rounded.

Life isn’t just about getting to do what I enjoy doing.  I am called upon to function in a lot of roles and to work well with different kinds of people.  I can’t only hang out with people I like.  Difficult people grace my life and one or two are usually in our own families.  If I’m an impatient person, I will need to learn patience. If I’m an exhorter, I will have to learn to be quiet and to pray instead.  If I’m good at tough love, I will have to learn to be compassionate.  God asks me to be full of the Spirit around those who are angry, depressed, and grieving.  I’m also called to be full of His Spirit when others prosper and I’m in a tough season.  I will be called to do things for which I have little aptitude and, in my frustration, will others be able to tell that I love Jesus when I’m doing things  that offer little or no enjoyment?

I’m not sure Jesus had a personality type.  He was simply well-rounded because He was fully equipped by His father to fulfill His mission.  He was Spirit-filled in every area of His life and there were no gaps in His ability to function in any situation.  At 33 years of age, He had completed everything He had been sent to do and had functioned perfectly in every single relationship.  He never said the wrong thing.  He never had to offer an apology.

Even now, in my sixties, I still see areas of impairment.  Though my limps have been tempered through the years, emotionally and spiritually, I am still working on them.  I would like to say that I am fully equipped and mature but I’m not.  Oh, that I could always be Spirit-filled!  I am aware, even this morning, that today holds things for which I must ask for special graces to accomplish.  At the end of the day, I will offer a prayer of thanks for the supernatural breath from the Spirit who rose up to help me in my time of need.

Day by day, I learn more about grace and Your faithfulness.  Amen





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