I will admit, over the past three years, what is talked about in the devotional below is something I have especially struggled with: the seeming smallness of my assignment, even if I am in the right assignment.
God, am I to be blogging more seriously, trying to reach more people? Am I to have a specific message? Am I to be sending out proposals and letters to agents, trying to write and publish books? Am I in the right assignment? Did I miss something big somehow?”
But, like Suzie Eller, I am always brought back to the realization that no assignment in life is “small”, no bag of silver too small to be multiplied and used well. It’s like the book that I read to Elizabeth, “There’s No Such Thing As Little”. I never want her to feel like she or what she does in life is little. If it’s for others, it’s for God.
Back in May, I watched my little two-year-old girl try to comfort a distraught little friend. When she didn’t know what to do, she ran to get Daddy because Daddy can always help. I could practically hear her saying, “Daddy, my friend is upset. Please, help.” What she did wasn’t small at all; she was thinking of her friend and acting with love, even as a toddler. That is HUGE.
What I do in life is not small. What I do with my writing, my letters and notes, gifts, encouragement, prayers, talks, coffee, lunches, etc., that is not small. And neither is what you do. I may not be “writing great books and making barrels of money” but I am doing my assignment in the best way I know how, to serve others in love and the God I believe in. And that is big. That is HUGE.
~ Melissa Snyder
“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’” Matthew 25:21 (NLT)
Every Wednesday night, a handful of women gather around my kitchen table to laugh, eat and study the Bible together.
These women haven’t had it easy. Life is downright hard sometimes, but they are feisty and fun. I can’t imagine Wednesdays without them.
Not too long ago, I read an article about several Christian women who were making a difference in the world. One raised funds to dig wells in villages desperate for clean water. Another started a school for girls rescued from the slave trade. One after another, I read these stories of brave women who grabbed these assignments from God and ran with them.
For a moment it caused me to look at my own life. God, have I missed my assignment? Is there something BIG I’m supposed to be doing?
Before the words even left my mouth, I felt His gentle rebuke.
I thought about the week before. One of the women around my kitchen table said there was a time when she didn’t know anything about Scripture, but now it was changing her.
Just the day before, one woman wanted to take a walk after our meeting. As we trekked down the walking trail, we talked about Jesus and prayed together.
My focus had almost shifted to the “bigness” of other women’s assignments rather than settling into the beauty of my own.
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells a story of a man about to take a long trip. He called his servants together and entrusted each with a measure of responsibility. He gave five bags of silver to one servant, two bags of silver to another and one bag of silver to a third servant.
While he was away, the servant with five bags invested it and earned five more. The man with two bags went to work and earned two more. But, the man who had been given one bag dug a hole in the ground and buried it.
When the master returned, he was filled with praise for the two who had multiplied the silver entrusted to them. As we see in our key verse “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” he said to each. “You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”
His reaction to the man who had hidden the bag in the ground was much different: “Why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it” (Matthew 25:27, NLT).
It’s worth noting that this story is not really about money. It was a parable Jesus taught to convey a spiritual truth.
Jesus was about to leave the disciples. In His absence, each would have an assignment. Some would pray and watch miracles take place. Others would plant churches. Some would disciple new believers. Others would serve and love people one by one. Whether the assignment seemed big or small, it’s what they did with it that mattered.
My treasured assignment is to love the four to six women who meet around my table everyWednesday night. I get to do that by fixing dinner for them and celebrating birthdays with a cake made just for that individual. I get to do that as we dig deep into the Word of God and grow in our faith together.
Whatever our assignment, it’s BIG because every single person impacted by the name of Jesus counts.
If you are teaching teens, mentoring or putting out chairs for a Sunday morning service, let’s celebrate together!
If you’re feeding the hungry, singing sweet words over the heart of a troubled child, sending an encouraging note to a friend or praying for the leaders of our nation, let’s celebrate together!
Whatever He’s trusted us to do, let’s celebrate together as we make a difference in the world in His name.
Savior, today I take my eyes off anyone else’s assignment and I thank You for the beauty of mine. If I’m burying that assignment because of uncertainty or comparison, I hold it up to You. Thank You for showing me what to do and multiplying it for Your sake. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (NIV)
Join Suzie Eller and friends today in a conversation on her blog about discovering our faith assignment as well as the chance to win a giveaway.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What is one way you desire to make a difference? How has God uniquely created you to do that right where you are?
|© 2015 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.|
I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe that he came to earth, lived a life as a human being, spoke unapologetically of God, loved others, gave strength and help and forgiveness where it was most needed, and then gave his life, submitting to a gruesome death as a man whose innocence even the highest authority of the day did not and could not dispute. I also believe that Jesus did not stay dead but rose up three days after his burial. I believe that it is my responsibility as a Christian to love others, to do good to them, and be as much of a help and a blessing as I can. I do not believe that it is my job to judge others, to tear them down, or destroy their hearts. That flies in the face everything that Christ stands for, in my mind and my heart.
What I realized this weekend is that I am a quiet Christian. As I was in worship service with others, I found myself focusing on the woman who was playing the piano and leading the singing. She was amazingly talented – beautiful voice, wonderful playing, and a passionate love for what she was doing. There was something in her personality that shone through that made me shrink back. In that instant, coupled with other thoughts I have had this weekend, I realized that I am a “quiet” Christian. I do not mean that I am embarrassed by or ashamed of my beliefs. What I mean is that I will rarely be found up front. When I was younger, in college, I sang on the worship team at church, as well as led the drama team. But that is not my forte anymore, at least I do not feel so. The older I get, the less I like to be in the “spotlight” of ministry. I like the behind-the-scenes, the quiet aspects and form of ministry. I’d rather be tidying the nursery, writing the script for the Christmas pageant, or sending cards and notes than being up front leading the congregation. That is where my grace lies
I am an introvert. I am a quiet person. I thrive in the things I can do that no one else but maybe one other person sees. In college, my favorite ministry was Secret Encouragers. We would encourage our student leaders in Student Christian Fellowship – our Servant Family – in secret – with cards, notes, email, and gifts. And we would help each other do so. I loved sneaking around leaving gifts and sending notes that no one would ever know were from me. I ran around campus in the early hours of the morning – fog still rolling off the flagstones – leaving cookies that I had just baked at the doors of professors, ministers, and counselors who deserved my thanks and some encouragement as finals week was about to commence. And I carried a warm heart with me all the day long afterward.
Maybe telling you this is counter-intuitive for a “quiet” person, but this blog is about honestly telling about my life. I enjoy the quiet things of ministry, which, sometimes, can take as much courage and vulnerability as getting up front and leading publicly. And I remember that my faith is one based on love and that any time I do one of these “little” things, even if God is never mentioned, it is a ministry of love. I am here to do good to and for others, to give hearts a boost, and souls some encouragement and soothing if I can. I never know if or when something I may write or text or say may connect with someone and grasp them out of a downward spiral. I cannot tell you how many times a note or card out of the blue has lifted my heart and stopped a downward path cold, nor can I ever say thank you enough for that little bit of love that was sent my way.
So while I may step out into the light every now and again, I know where my work of faith, my grace, my gift lies. It’s in the little things, the quiet things, the things that I may never know just how much they mean but that I want to do anyway just because I believe in it.