Updated: Sep 27
Bruce awoke with a start. He dreamed he had died and was standing in front of God. He hadn’t seen what God looked like due to the light coming from His face, but in the dream he felt he was really in His presence.
As Bruce recalled the dream, Bruce was trying to explain to God why Bruce had not lived up to his potential in life. “Life was hard” Bruce remembered himself saying, “I didn’t have enough money or time to really make a difference. Plus, I wasn’t as talented or successful as others. I was just grateful to get by each day.”
As Bruce lay wide awake reviewing the dream in his mind, his heart was deeply troubled by God’s question to him right before he woke up. “Why didn’t you ask me for the blessings I had prepared for you? Why did you limit receiving what I had to give to you?”
Though just a dream, the questions plagued him for days. What was he not asking God for? What limits had he placed on what he would receive? He didn’t fully understand. Was his life unnecessarily hard?
An interesting question to ask is “have I received everything that God has to give me?” Most likely, the answer will be ‘no’ for most of us. As we think on this question though, some important corollary questions are “have I done everything God has called me to do? Have I lived up to my calling and potential in life?”
What is an individual’s potential? How often do we really pursue our potential? When given the opportunity to ask for something we could use to pursue our potential, what do we do?
In the Book of Ether, an ancient scriptural text, there is the story of a man who was commanded by God to build fully enclosed barges in order to cross the sea and travel to a new land. As the man built the barges, he realized that there would be no light in the barges.
As he talked with God and explained the issue, God asked the man what the man would have God do about the light issue. This point in the story presents a moment for us to evaluate what we would do if asked the same thing. If we had a problem, and God asked us what we proposed to solve it, what would we ask for? What our purposes and intent be pure, or would we ask for things out of selfishness, laziness, etc.?
The man building the barges decided to make glass stones, one for each end of each barge. He traveled into a high mountain to find the materials for the stones. He then asked God to touch the stones so that they would shine and bring light to the barges. In the recorded story, God did touch each stone, and the stones emitted light so that they could see while they were in the barges for an extended period of time.
There are a few interesting concepts in this story. First, the man did not just pick up a bunch of dirty rocks from the ground and present those to God. Rather, he worked hard to create something good, wholesome, and clean.
Second, he presented 16 total stones to God to touch. God touched every one of them. Think about that for a minute. God touched every stone the man asked Him to touch. While this was an amazing miracle recorded in this ancient text, it begs an often unasked question – did the man ask God to touch everything that God was willing to touch, or did the man stop short of asking for everything that God was willing to give Him?
I have often reflected on this question. God touched every stone that the man presented to Him. Again, there was serious work behind the creation of the stones, the man wasn’t simply asking God to give him light from dirty rocks. But, God respected the man’s request when the man did what he could do, and when he had a good purpose for the request.
Life is often hard and we often feel like we are drowning with responsibilities, demands, exhaustion, etc. We often feel that we don’t have time to do what we are called to do, or to even pursue our own potential.
When we get to the end though, and stand before God, I believe we will stand in awe when we see all that He was willing to give us, if we simply were willing to have faith and use the gifts as He directed.
Rather than feeling like we are drowning amidst all that life throws at us, is it possible to actually walk on the floods that come? Jesus walked on water, does He want us drowning in life, or rising above and using all that comes into our lives as a way to rise up? The things that come into our life can either force us to swim and tread water, or they can be something that propel us upward.
I believe that God has so much in store for us, but we are often afraid to ask, as asking means that we are also willing to do what He wants us to do with the blessing He gives.
Think of it this way. If God asked you if you could be a steward over ten million dollars, what would you say? If God asked you if you could be an instrument in His hands in dispersing ten million dollars to those who God told you to, would you be able to do it? What if God wanted all ten million dollars to go to others, and none to you? Not even one penny of it? Would you have the will to give away all ten million dollars and not even buy a new car for your family if your cars all broke down?
God has so much to give us, but I believe that we often shy away from asking for the blessing because we know that God has a purpose for giving it. That isn’t to say that all blessings can never be used for us or our families, but I believe we innately recognize the truth that “where much is given much is required,” and this truth often causes us to not ask for what God has for us.
We each have the potential to become like God. God is willing to touch every effort we make to become more like Him. He has so much to give us, we just need to do our part and ask, and then be willing to follow through with what is required to receive that blessing. Most of the time, it is simply a request that we share it with those God directs us to share with, and that we do not view it as ours, but return the thanks to God.
Whether God blesses us with strength, talents, money, opportunities, people, etc., we can use what we have received to help build others and build the things that God directs us to. If we are willing to create and build, God will touch everything that we create and build with good intentions. He will turn it into far more than we can alone, if we are willing to do our part.
Or, we can keep treading water as we try to get through life, living far beneath our potential, and missing out on what God has prepared for us. God’s message to Bruce was that he was living beneath His potential. Would God have a similar message for us?
Hopefully we can each decide to pursue all that God has for us. Our lives, and the world around us, will never be the same if we do.
At Believe, we believe that you are capable of changing the world, for good. Our mission is to help support individuals in pursuing their God-given potential and callings. We would love to have you join our community of individuals as we work together to change the world, for good.