One more mile; will it really change anything?
These are the type questions I find myself wrestling with from time to time in so many areas. When I know I need to cut back the calories a bit, I find myself in an internal debate about whether eating a couple more pieces of cake is really going to matter. When I’m exercising I ask myself if the last set is really that big of a deal. When I’m pondering huge life-changing, leaps of faith I always, always have the same questions.
Will my efforts really amount to anything? Will this make a lasting change? Will there really be a difference made?
I’ll always remember even having these thoughts in my dreams. In my book, Take This Child, I shared about a life-changing dream I experienced that really rocked and caused me to question my perception about what one person can do.
In the dream I was floating in a tiny wooden canoe in South America, in a muddy river lined by thick vegetation. Hundreds of tan, dark-haired people were in the river and I was sitting in the canoe. The tan skinned people were screaming and asking for my help, but I was paralyzed with fear. I sat in my canoe and rationalized over and over that there was no way I could help anyone at all. After all, there were hundreds of drowning people and I was simply one person with one tiny canoe. I might could squeeze a person or two into my canoe, I thought, but what kind of difference would that make for the hundreds that were drowning? I paddled away in fear. Fear that if I let a couple of people in my canoe, I’d certainly be thrown out myself.
I woke up in cold sweats from that dream. How could I make such a ridiculous decision? What did it mean?
We all struggle to think whether saving that five dollars or giving away that ten dollars is really going to amount to anything, don’t we?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of the church. It’s a very sad thing to see the blame game played out even in the Body of Christ. I can so easily picture the enemy standing above the cooking pot of culture, nations, and the body of Christ is right there in the mix. Here we are stationed to be salt and light yet, as the enemy takes his finger and stirs the pot into a whirlwind of confusion, we waste our lives away asking all of the wrong questions, much to his delight.
If I give what little time and resources I have, will it really matter? I have so little in my hands- what kind of difference could that make?
Jesus rewrote the textbook on how much could be given. He said it simply in Matthew 10:39.
“If you cling to your life you will lose it but if you give up your life for my sake you will find it.”
We see time and time again in Scripture where simple people took the very small resources and time and energy they had and offered it up and then watched it feed multitudes. That’s because 2+2 does not equal four in the kingdom of God. Somehow, in a way that only Jesus can, he takes our meager offerings and pairs them with his unstoppable power. That’s how two loaves and some fish can feed 5000 men. That’s how some poor fisherman and despised tax collectors could unite to spread a message and the ripples from it are still felt today.
I just don’t want to buy the lie that the little bit I have to offer is not worth offering at all. Oh, what a great deception! This deception that walls up any sparks of change…this deception that keeps people from ever stepping out and embracing another… this deception that keeps the church forever dependent and trusting in whatever resources our feeble hands hold- instead of recognizing our true source and the one catalyst for revolution; Jesus.
I love that Jesus took the time to paint a beautiful picture in Luke 21 we can all learn from. As he and his disciples stood at the temple as people brought their offerings, Jesus pointed out the rich who brought their offerings. Then he pointed out the widow who brought a very small amount, the equivalent of less than a penny- and put it in the offering. Then He said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Jesus simply was not impressed when rich men came up and discerned how much they could give without it costing them anything- but rather when a person was willing to give all they had.
I’d love to know what God did with that widow’s mite. 🙂
You and I were placed here in this time for a very specific and important purpose. And, as I assume God would have it, all of us would have the choice of spending our time and resources any number of ways. As we see over and over again and in God’s word- as we see through the exciting experiences of those we love to pass on in word but rarely in lifestyle… Nothing at all is wasted in the hands of the living God. Every offering we bring to his feet of time, money, energy, love, joy… it’s always used for so much more than what our simple, temporal eyes can see.
As we as the body of Christ take all of our small offerings and unite them in love, the impact is unstoppable. Your little bit of time does matter. Your little offering does make a difference. Your kind word, your hug, your smile- every bit of it is coupled with the infinite power of God. And that’s where the difference is made.
What is the best way to never make a bit of difference? Believe that your little life doesn’t matter. That in itself is enough to keep you and I from ever taking the risk of loving someone else or giving anything at all. But our little bits of giving in the mighty hands of God become huge forces for loving change.
Wanna see the miraculous? Pour out the little bit you hold onto in love, and watch it multiply. <3