I don’t know about you, but I want to do big things for the Lord. I feel called to serve and encourage others on His behalf. I have grandiose visions of things that I could do—the impact I could make. And yet…my constant reality always seems so much less significant than I want it to be.
I say, “Lord, I’m willing to do big things for you! I want to do a lot on your behalf! Won’t you give me the opportunity?”
It is in these times where I sometimes struggle to remain motivated. I feel potential, but the results don’t seem to match. My daydreams are so beautiful, but they don’t ever seem to make it into my reality. My attempts are always less pretty than the plans that came before them. It can be discouraging to keep trying when I never experience the satisfaction of the impact I think I’m supposed to be making. Everything falls short. My parenting, my hostessing skills, my cleaning, my ability to encourage, my writing, etc. Even the natural gifts I have do not yield the fruit I so desire to taste!
So why do I keep trying? Why do I keep serving even though I always think I should be doing more? Why do I keep praying even though the answers I receive are often slower than I’d like and different than I’d like? Has God truly given me purpose, or have I somehow given it to myself? Has God truly called you to serve, or are you just trying to force it?
I was thinking about all of this one day recently—not feeling like I’m good enough to truly do big things for God. I was thinking about a book I’ve been working on writing and wondering if it will ever get published and encourage people. Will it make a big impact like I so desire it to? But then I heard a little whisper: “What if only 1,000 people ever read it and it makes a difference in their lives—would it still be worth writing?” Why yes, I suppose it would be. I don’t want to be famous or anything. “What if only 100 people read it and experienced the encouragement they needed?” Well, yes I would still do it for 100. “How about 50?” I would still do it for 50 lives impacted. God can easily multiply 50 seeds sown into something miraculous. “What about 1? What if your hard work only touched 1 person’s life? Would you still do it? Yes, yes I would.
When I take a moment to humble myself and remember that it is God I’m honoring with my efforts, and not myself, I become more content with 1. Suddenly, to impact 1 person’s life is a lot!
In Genesis 18 we get to witness a conversation between God and Abraham. God is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham interjects. “What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?” The Lord replies, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham continues asking God to spare the city for lower and lower numbers of people, until he got to ten. God agrees each time. He understands Abraham’s heart—Abraham is trying to have the Lord spare his nephew, Lot. Though Lot is far from perfect, Abraham values him as family. Unfortunately, Sodom was so wicked that there were not even 10 righteous people found there, so the Lord was going to destroy it. However, because of Abraham’s prayers, God allows Lot and his family to escape. God sees also sees value in Lot.
Abraham values Lot. God values Lot. There is value in a Lot. One singular man named Lot. Not even a great man, just a normal one.
So while I’m spinning my wheels, wanting to do a lot for the Lord, He’s reminding me that there is value in A Lot. Sometimes it’s worth all the effort for just one singular person to be saved or impacted. Maybe we put in a lot of effort to create something spectacular—but the Lord really intends it to bless just one person. The right person. The person who’s heart is fertile soil and has been prepared especially for this moment. For the exact seed you are sowing. That is A Lot. God can work with A Lot. God can multiply A Lot.
What about you? Are you discouraged with feelings that you aren’t making a difference? Are you frustrated that all of your opportunities to serve seem so small and trivial? Your efforts aren’t good enough, the fruit not being produced quickly enough? Seize every opportunity you can to glorify God! We do not get to assign value to our efforts if we have given them to God. Value is determined by the price someone is willing to pay. And God paid the ultimate price—His son—for each of us. Anything we can do to serve even just one other person has value because that person has such a high value.
While we may naturally want to strive to do a lot for God, let us not forget the simple truth that there is value in A Lot. One encouraging text to a friend, one devotion time spent with a child, one person over for supper, one smile given to a stranger, one person inspired by a sermon—that is a lot if it is what we were called to do. Have you been called to serve A Lot? Don’t undermine the importance of obedience, even when it feels insignificant. Anything God calls you to do is worth the time and effort, even when it doesn’t feel like a lot!