Imagine you are in a field. You are surrounded by all sorts of colorful wildflowers, and you notice the birds flying around and hopping amongst the flowers. You also see bees collecting pollen from these flowers as well. After a while, you notice a large yellow butterfly landing on one of the flowers nearest you. You see its wings, decorative shape, and colorful designs. You find it beautiful and are happy you were able to see these gorgeous pairs of wings.
But you know something? The butterfly cannot see its own wings. Maybe sometimes you cannot see yours either.
A bad habit I am guilty of and am working on breaking is comparison. I think I am doing well in my walk with God until I look at those around me. I see their talents and gifts that God has provided them, and I think to myself, “Man, if only I were like that… God could really use me then!”
Have you had those moments? Have you ever looked at someone with extraordinary abilities to speak and share the Word and you think to yourself, “I wish I could do that!” You could see others with great faith and wish yours was that great. Maybe you admire another’s compassion, love, empathy, etc. You tend to see other’s gifts of hospitality, their gift of giving, teaching, or preaching, and you wonder if you have any of that. Here is the thing.
You are seeing their pair of butterfly wings. But you have a pair too!
There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. - 1 Corinthians 12:5-6
The same God who is working in them is working in you. Yes, you see other’s talents and gifts given to them by God. You see the admirable qualities that God has provided them. But God has given you talents and admirable qualities as well. You just cannot see them because they are on your back like a butterfly’s wings.
I often pondered what God has given me. I wondered what my talents and gifts were. I just did not know, but I continued to do my best in being a “good and faithful servant” nonetheless. Luckily, I have been told what my pair of wings looked like. I have been told that I am caring, I am a blessing, that my God-given gift is giving. But I did not know this about myself. Others have seen it in me and personally told me. Not everyone gets that chance though.
Sometimes we are going to be left wondering what our wings look like. That is okay, though. Because we know that God has given us our wings. He has given us the talents, gifts, and qualities that He wants us to have and to share. He can use you. It just may look different than the way he uses your friend. All we have to do is look straight towards him. Not to the left or right. Not at others to compare ourselves with. When we do that, whether we realize it or not, God is using us. We are flapping our wings.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. - 1 Peter 4:10
Next time you see a butterfly, I hope you admire it. The next time you see another’s admirable qualities, God-given talents, and gifts, I hope you do not compare yourself to them. Just take note of their beauty, and even compliment them on it if you want. Because I tell you, you have a beautiful set of wings on your back. God has given you those wings, and they are shining bright!
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:14-16