Doing Things You Think You Can't Do

Responding positively to invitations to serve others always leads to personal growth. For example, when I was a teenager, I was often asked to play the piano at church. I desperately needed time to practice before I could play any piece well. Most of the choristers gave me the music ahead of time. One chorister never did. Needless to say, I was stressed out because I didn’t want to look like an idiot in front of my peers. One day I was asked to play a hymn roughly six seconds before crunch time. I turned to the hymn and discovered it had four sharps. I immediately panicked and quickly prayed, “Heavenly Father, help! I can’t do four sharps!”

What followed was the quickest personal revelation I’ve ever received. “Just pretend it’s in three flats and I’ll help you.” Naïve and desperate I followed that impression without question. I played the hymn written in four sharps in three flats and it sounded all right! Well, that was sufficient proof of another Red Sea parting for me. It wasn’t until 35 years later that someone told me you can change the flats into sharps and the sharps into flats as long as they add up to seven.

Actually, I failed to appreciate the real miracle - God knew me. God knew me well enough to know I thought I could play that song in three flats. I was given a way to think about my challenge in a way I could survive it. The Creator of this universe who has to keep the cosmos going knows all of us that intimately. How much good could we do with our lives if we accept invitations to serve others, then let go of our fears and depend on God for our strength? God will give us a way to think about our challenges in a way that we can handle it – if we ask.

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