|Samwise, who helped his friend who was called to do great things.|
I caught a few minutes of a youth conference being shown on one of the Christian networks on TV this past week. Just enough to hear the speaker telling the young people that God wants them to do "great works" for Him. They were to take the world for Christ. I remember hearing the same thing at that age and just as the thousands of young people at that conference were doing, we shouted amen and hallelujah!
Great words. Even better soundbite. But is it true? An easy answer to that is... no.
Oh, for a few there will be a world wide ministry. Some handle it well, like Billy Graham. Most do not. I was reading not too long ago about a well known evangelist whose family life was a wreck. As his fame increased, so did the expectations of the family for people to treat them like kings and queens. His oldest child went on to reject Christ and eventually took his own life after years of disillusionment. The entire family did not handle fame and fortune well.
My husband and I were talking about friends of ours recently. The couple were our best friends in our early married years. We attended the same weekly Bible study and prayer meeting. We were there when their younger children were born and they sat with us at church and cried with us when our firstborn died after birth.
They were good people with one (what we thought minor) flaw. They constantly talked about doing great things for God. They were convinced God called them to a worldwide ministry. It wasn't until much later when we realized they never talked about their relationship to the Lord or their love for Him. It was always focused on "their ministry". We moved away after my husband finished graduate school and we eventually lost touch with each other except for annual Christmas Cards.
We would hear about them from mutual friends, how they went from one church to another. Getting involved and then leaving when they could not be among the upper leadership of the church. This went on for a very, very long time. Eventually we moved back to the area and we visited them one day. We were quite shocked to find three of their kids had completely rejected the Faith and the youngest was "iffy".
What I remember from that visit most was how downtrodden our friends were. Unhappy. Empty. We reached out to renew our friendship but they weren't interested for our theology was no longer what they followed. We at times spoke Truth and did not give a "good confession". We had fairly serious health problems, obviously because we lost our "good confession". Sigh...
A couple years ago, my husband was skimming Christopher's copy of the University's Alumnus magazine and there... in the obituary section... was the name of the husband. We were shocked for we hadn't heard a thing about his death. We asked around and all we could learn was that it had been a suicide. So terrible that those who knew the details didn't want to talk about it. He never did the great things for God as he was promised.
In some ways, this is human nature. For instance, there are millions of bloggers but a handful get the book deals and fame so other bloggers feel they are failures. They forget they started out just to write or share photos or wax poetic about beautiful things. They put their focus on the glitzy and glamorous blogs with thousands upon thousands of Followers so they become discouraged and write less and don't share much and eventually they just stop. Because others did "great things" for God and in their mind they felt... insignificant.
I love this quote from Mother Theresa, "Be faithful in small things for it is in them your strength lies". She also said, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can all do small things with great love."
I truly believe God calls us on a journey that is our life. How he judges us is how we live that life. Our life. His calling for us. For you. For me. And contrary to what we were once told, we are not all called to do great things for Him. We were called to live ordinary lives and be His hands and His voice and His feet and show His love to those He chooses to bring our way.
We were told to talk to Him and walk with Him and read His Word and fellowship with Him. Not to do great things for Him. But to know Him. That is what He desires from us and if instead we put the works of doing great things before knowing Him, then we are on shaky ground.
So if today you are discouraged because you did not win the world for Christ, that is okay. Really. Honest. Read a Bible story to your child, bake homemade cookies to take to the office, make soup for your friend who is sick and tell them you are praying for them, write a letter to a lonely friend, invite the elderly neighbor to dinner... for they are your world.
As for me, today is Father's Day and my husband is still quite ill. Finances are tight so I'm having boxed mac & cheese for dinner. But I remembered I had lemons in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and butter in the freezer. So I made lemon bars, his very favorite dessert, for Father's Day. Insignificant? I don't think so, not in God's economy.