Have you ever felt like you didn’t make a difference? You know, you see so many people doing so many great things that you begin to wonder what you have to offer the world. Well I’m here to tell you that those thoughts are lies.
I was talking with an old friend today. He told me about how he some times wondered if the kids in the freshman high school that he leads ever hear or are effected by him being there. He’s an old dude and kind of quirky (he’d have to be, he’s my friend.) But one day a fellow leader told him about how a kid that is now a senior and a student ministry had grown in faith. The leader told him that the kid spoke so highly of my friend and said how he loves mister O.
I’ve worked in several ministry capacities and have fallen into the trap of comparing myself to other “more successful” leaders. But God has shown me that no good comes from comparison. He has made each one of us unique. If we’re willing to allow Him to lead, and seek His will for our lives, the results will be exponentially better than anything we can accomplish on our own. This is true in all of our lives. We all come from different backgrounds. We go to different jobs and live in different neighborhoods. When we embrace the ways that God has made us unique, we realize we have a recognizably different opportunity to impact the world for Him. Sometimes all it takes is to show up. When we’re consistent in our faith and our word we’ve already spoken volumes.
We may never hear the feedback or see the results of a changed life the way that my friend did, but each one of us has been given seeds to plant in the lives of others. Just because we don’t see an immediate outcome does not mean we should be discouraged. Some seeds lie dormant longer than others. God chooses the time and place for them to grow. It may be the words we have said, the integrity we have displayed, or just our presence that they will remember.
In 1st Corinthians 3:6 Paul writes I planted a seed, Apollos watered it, but God is making it grow.
There’s something freeing in that. Our obedience to the call God has placed on our lives has the power to change lives. I can think of no greater honor.