Sometimes what we are doing seems so insignificant, so small, that continuing to try seems pointless. But what if we adjusted our focus a bit to the God who can use small things done faithfully to do amazing feats?
I’m working on cleaning up my website. It’s an overwhelming task to me as I don’t speak geek nearly as well as I used to think I did. My late-husband took care of so many tech things. I thought that made me somehow tech savvy by association. Nope. This stuff overwhelms me fast.
Last week I had a coaching call with a tech guy who is so kind. Roger was helping me organize the email addresses of those who had subscribed to my blog. I told him that I wasn’t sure how many were spammers versus actual people, but did that really matter? Yes, he broke the news to me. The service I use is only free up to a certain number of addresses. Paying for connection with real people makes sense. Paying for spam sites in Yugoslavia? That’s a waste of money.
So yesterday I sat down and spent three hours combing through my list. It was painful to delete over a thousand emails. Know why? Because publishers, before they even consider publishing a nonfiction book, want to know about numbers: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram followers along with subscribers on blogs. These show them you are engaging with people and meeting a market need. The higher numbers you can show them, the more likely they are to listen to your book proposal. Numbers matter in the publishing world.
As the list of actual humans who might be reading what I write got smaller and smaller, discouragement set in. Then a friend, a marketing Wonder Woman named Angela, whose job it is to help people raise those numbers, spoke words of clear truth and vital hope to my discouraged soul: “Numbers don’t mean a thing. You inspired someone at some point. You used your voice and the platform God has given you to reach the exact people God wanted you to reach. Nothing more, nothing less. You’re in charge of doing the work. God’s in charge of the outcome.”
I may have teared up a little.
And then I remembered a phenomenal story in the Bible. It’s a story about a miracle Jesus did. Five thousand men (we don’t know how many women and children too) had gathered to hear him teach and it was dinner time. His disciples worried the crowd was too far from home and getting hungry. So Jesus asked what they had. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” John 6:9 NLT
Challenge accepted. Jesus took that boy’s lunch and fed everyone with food leftover.
Angela was right. Numbers aren’t my job. Being faithful with what’s in my hands is.
What is in your hands right now that seems small and insignificant? Are you willing to let go of the outcome and just trust it to God? That can seem scary. But trusting God is never a bad idea. And giving what he has gifted you with always produces fruit—maybe not as fast as we’d like. But God promises time and again that faithfulness pays off.
So today if you are worried what you have isn’t enough, I invite you to open your hands and give it to God, trusting He can do more with it that you can. Next week I’ll have another example of a time God did amazing things when all people saw was “not enough.”
Are you struggling to be faithful because it feels like it’s not doing any good? I’d love to pray with you. If you are feeling brave, post in the comments.
(Photo credit: bottom photo by Natalie Collins on Unsplash.com)