In preparation for one of my sermons this month, I was studying a passage in which Jesus comments on the seemingly insignificant actions of a poor widow. He says to his disciples,
“I can guarantee this truth: This poor widow has given more than all the others. All of them have given what they could spare. But she, in her poverty, has given everything she had to live on.”
The words of Jesus got me thinking about all the times I’ve chosen not to participate in something because I thought that what I had to contribute would have little or no impact in the grand scheme of things. It seems like the more often I pass up the “little” opportunities to make a difference, the “big” opportunities that I’m waiting for never seem to come along. Sometimes, I look back and wish that I had just done something… anything, so that I would know that I had tried. Have you ever felt the same way?
The next time you’re faced with a “little” opportunity, consider this story that I found in the June 12, 1994 publication of Our Daily Bread.
There’s a small courthouse in Ohio that stands in a unique location. Because of how the building sits on the property, all of the raindrops that fall on the north side of the building go into Lake Ontario and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, while the rain that falls on the south side flows into the Mississippi River and ultimately ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. At precisely the point of the peak of the roof, even the slightest gust of wind can determine the destiny of a single raindrop…a difference of more than 2,000 miles.
That’s impressive, isn’t it?
Sometimes the smallest deeds can have the biggest impact. As a husband and father to a family that has experienced a lot of change and transition this year, I can attest to the significant impact that the kind gestures of others have had along the way. A church member delivering a warm meal to our door step, a friend offering to babysit the kids so that we could get our old house cleaned out, or a relative showing up unannounced to help us unpack boxes after we moved. To those who made these kind gestures to our family, your actions may have seemed like “little things.” But to our family, during this particular season, these acts of kindness have served as “big” reminders that God’s goodness and provision are with us wherever we go. God’s people will surround us with love and grace in this new place.
Know this. As insignificant as we might think certain acts of kindness and generosity may be, when we offer ourselves in service to God’s kingdom work, our lives begin to flow in such a way that tiny raindrops of faith become rivers and oceans of grace that transform countless lives and communities around the world. So don’t miss the little opportunities. They offer big possibilities!
In what “little ways” can you share the love of Jesus Christ with someone today?