“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1: 17 (KJV)
All such gifts would include spiritual gifts, natural abilities, and talents. God is the source of all we have. While it should be a simple matter for humans to acknowledge that everything we have is a gift from our creator, it seems that humans are inclined to believe that we make ourselves all we are, which we most certainly do not. Why it should be that one should possess normal levels of ability and one should not, I do not fully know. I do know the following:
Two cousins, born several years apart, contracted the same disease. The disease left the older cousin with a mind like that of a five or six year-old child, unable to learn to read or write. The younger cousin was fortunate to be living where one of only a handful of experts in the disease was living and he was diagnosed, treated for several years, and eventually was able to live what most would call a normal life. It still was not easy. A few years after being diagnosed and while doing well with the treatment regimen from the first doctor, the younger cousin was placed under the care of a doctor who believed he could cut the dosage of the younger cousin in half and still control the disease. Cutting the dosage in half led to another episode of the disease – a seizure with a high fever, like the first episode. This second seizure meant that the younger cousin faced setbacks in school. He had to make up portions of the fourth grade in the summer to catch up to his classmates. Some of the adults in his life believed the second seizure and its results would render him incapable of learning. He underperformed in school, but God intervened and the younger cousin was eventually healed, after being on medication for many years. The disease was considered incurable, but he was cured.
The older of the two cousins never was able to live a normal life, but, among his contributions, his life served to remind the younger cousin of how blessed he was to be healed and to be normal. Even with this realization, when called to pastoral ministry, the younger cousin resisted because he did not actually enjoy being in front of groups of people. The younger cousin did eventually surrender to the call of God, he did pursue an education that would equip him for ministry, and he did serve God in ministry for many years, often bi-vocationally, or in situations that bordered on being full-time, eventually serving in full-time ministry. His service to God was not perfect, but he was used of God, and glad of it. Eventually, he was privileged to work with numerous others in ministry in a setting in which he discovered that many of his fellow servants had also been through difficulties that served to let them know that all good gifts have but one source – God. He noticed that his fellow servants also sought to give back to God what God had given them.
To what are you called and for what are you gifted? You may minister in obscurity or in extremely visible circumstances, but what will matter will be your attitude towards giving God what He gave you. The greatest gift any Christian was given was the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. He gave his life for us, which is why we are called to be living sacrifices for Him:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifices, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service, (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12: 1 + 2 (KJV)
All who have accepted the call to salvation in Christ can offer Him the gifts He gave us, however and wherever He calls us to use them.