Emails used to haunt me when I was working sixty office hours a week. My inbox would be full of communications from a host of different sorts of people. On a normal day about fifty emails would need to be read and most of them required a response so I learned to dread the clicking of the “Send/Receive” button. Some of what I used to do is either being done by others now or by me at a less frenzied pace, that I actually find myself able and willing to linger a little longer over some of that electronic correspondence. Today I heard from two people, among others, that God used to remind me that He still has work for me to do.
A dear sister in Christ whom God saved, in part, via the television outreach wrote me to let me know that she gave her public testimony to her church recently. What a joy for me to hear that! Along with hers, there was an update from a missionary with whom I have covenanted in prayer concerning his life work and family needs. They may be on the cusp of a breakthrough and I wanted to encourage him that I was in his corner. When reading their emails I recognized afresh that we serve God through connecting with others.
Throw a pebble in a still pond and you will make a ripple. Something you do on land affects changes over a much broader area. A simple act of exertion can change the whole dynamic of that little body of water. So it is with investing your life in others. Some of you who read this today do not believe that you give out your own personal ripple. Your lifework may not be big or neon or public, so you don’t think you are making a difference because there is a lack of results, that thing that the Bible calls fruit; you wonder if you are responding in a significant enough way that honors the amazing work Christ has done in your life. You know you are casting your pebble in the pond, but it seems to sink straight to the bottom in the absence of a splash. You wish you could do more, or do it in a different venue, or at least see some different results. You sometimes think about walking away from your pile of pebbles because you just don’t know how many more you can bear to throw into the pond without experiencing some results.
It’s important that you know that countless others have sensed the same dilemma. From missionaries to moms, CEO’s to ditch diggers, senior citizens to school teachers…everybody who has ever wanted to live for Christ knows the occasional dissatisfaction of a continually still pond that is seemingly filled with their sunken pebbles. My advice to you? Keep doing what God last told you to do. It may be that, for a reason known only to Him, He does not afford you the thrill of seeing results right now. Then again, He never called us to fixate on results. He calls us to faithfulness, and that is something that we may all accomplish for His glory. What if your life was meant to be put on display before an audience of One? What if He has so highly esteemed your earthly journey that He has cordoned you off with the intent of not emphasizing your value before others? Seriously, will you be content if only God is aware and pleased with what you do in the name of His Son? We live in a world where things seemingly have to be big in order to be valued; the prophet Zechariah once asked, “Who has despised the day of small things?” That is a fitting question for the Church in this generation which has been deeply influenced by a media saturated culture and the flashes of paparazzi idolatry. Here are two things that I want to leave you with today:
1. You are making a difference. Believe this by faith – whether you sense a ripple or not. Keep throwing your pebbles until the voice of Sovereignty permits you to do otherwise. You are making a difference because you are being faithful to Him.
2. God is the sole object of your desire to bring good forth from your life. Do it for Him. Do it as unto Him. Do it with wholeheartedness. Trust His evaluation of it according to His word. Let nobody steal your reward. If God be pleased then dismiss the thought of others not esteeming your life’s value…even if that ‘other’ happens to be you today.
God’s Word communicates it to you this way: “For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.” -Hebrews 6:10
He’s worth you living out today with joy and faithfulness as if He is the only one watching.