In my morning devotional I came across Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, which discusses optimism in the context of looking forward to Heaven. Similarly, my daily reader from John Maxwell referenced cultivating optimism by learning what he calls the secret of contentment.
In reading both of these I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Parable of the Three Servants that Jesus delivered in Matthew 25: 14-30. The central message, I believe, is to do what we can where we are with what we have. I found it interesting that the man in the parable gave his servants bags of silver according to their abilities, bestowing more responsibilities once they demonstrated that they could handle what they were initially provided. In a similar way, God doesn’t put more on our plate than what we can handle. In the same way he blesses us more when we show that we can be faithful in what He gives to us.
I know I’m guilty of sometimes comparing myself to others and wishing I had their gifts and talents. I remember one day coming to the realization that what’s God has in store for me is already mine…no one can take it away from me. Whatever I’m wishing for I don’t have it for a reason. I have to be patient and let God’s plans mature and become complete.
But this can be challenging (I know from firsthand experience) even for the avid optimist, because the secular world is so good at getting and retaining our attention. It’s so easy to get caught up focusing on everything we don’t have. We may be search of the next job, the next degree we need, wanting the next iPhone that comes out, etc. But we have to be reminded that God is prepared to work wonders in our life with what we currently have. The Bible references in Romans 5:8 that while we were still sinners Christ made the decision to die for us. There’s so much comfort in knowing God not only reserves judgement for our future but He also chooses to forgive us for our past transgressions as well.
We all need encouragement from time to time and the message I got this morning was just what I needed. I’m more encouraged to refocus on doing what I can, with what I have, where I am.
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” ~Abraham Lincoln