19 Now those who were scattered as a result of the trouble that occurred because of Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch. They proclaimed the word only to Jews. 20 Among them were some people from Cyprus and Cyrene. They entered Antioch and began to proclaim the good news about the Lord Jesus also to Gentiles. 21 The Lord’s power was with them, and a large number came to believe and turned to the Lord. 22 When the church in Jerusalem heard about this, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw evidence of God’s grace, he was overjoyed and encouraged everyone to remain fully committed to the Lord. 24 Barnabas responded in this way because he was a good man, whom the Holy Spirit had endowed with exceptional faith. A considerable number of people were added to the Lord. 25 Barnabas went to Tarsus in search of Saul. 26 When he found him, he brought him to Antioch. They were there for a whole year, meeting with the church and teaching large numbers of people. It was in Antioch where the disciples were first labeled “Christians.” (Acts 11:19-26, CEB)

I don’t think I can put a number to how many times I have prayed for more faith. I have begged and I have pleaded, but my faith doesn’t seem to budge. It makes me jealous of people like Barnabas, whose faith was so obvious to others that they responded to his ministry in droves.

That jealousy made me miss the point of the story of Barnabas for a long time. In truth, Barnabas went where he was sent, paid attention, and did his job. Much of the work was done before he got to Antioch, so when he arrived he used his gifts for the benefit of the new Christians there. His faith was a gift, but it wasn’t the point.

While I still might wish I had a little more faith, I know I have the gifts I need for the tasks to which I’m called. Like Barnabas, I can know my gifts and be ready to go.