I had just arrived at the cabinet shop to pick up our oldest son from work when I received a message on my phone. Taking a few minutes, I stood in the parking lot and began to read this message. I had not gotten very far when tears began rolling down my cheeks. I couldn’t say much besides “Oh God.” And it truly was a prayer.
It was a message from someone I care about so very much, and who – because of God leading them in specific ways- had determined to radically change some things in their lives. They were seeking Jesus with sincerity and a desire for the truth. I couldn’t help it. I sobbed my heart out.
You see, I had given in to the lie the devil had begun to whisper in my ear yet again . . . that I really wasn’t doing much. My efforts were like spitting in the wind.
The news is filled with awful stories of murder, adultery, Christians persecuted, children abused, hungry people, and more. The church as a whole has merged so completely with the world sometimes it’s no longer recognizable. I am a mom who lives way up north in the mountains. Who was I to help feed the hungry in Africa or help those caught in prostitution in Thailand? I could not do a thing to stop Obama or sway the upcoming election. Abortion tears my heart out, but how can I prevent this atrocity across the world?
I might as well give up.
But something happened soon after I received that message. I began to realize that I truly did not need to know the gory details about all the evil out there. In a sense, I had let my worldview become too wide. With all the media, news, and internet available, we can have happenings from all around the world – right at our fingertips. It can be staggering, overwhelming . . . and I think the devil uses it to his advantage.
If our focus is on the evil, then it has been taken off of the God
who has already overcome the evil.
David knew the threats of Goliath were nothing compared to his God who controlled everything. He did not deal with ten giants, only the one God placed before him. He did not worry about the evil happening in other lands – he knew his God was well able to handle it. Instead he dealt with the evil in his own path.
As this began to sink in, I realized that things I had specifically prayed for in the lives of people I was directly involved in . . . were being answered.
And I almost missed it.
My pitiful heart wanted to change the world, and forgot to look at the people God had placed within my hands each and every day. Hearts were being softened to the Gospel, healing was taking place in some people, and marriages made better. Even my own.
If we follow God’s calling in our lives, He will lead us to the place He would have us serve. Perhaps for you, this is in Africa or Thailand . . . and not in Idaho. Maybe God has placed you directly on the path of someone who has been rejected or abused – and you are the answer to their prayer.
I can pray for those I hear of who are hurting in far-off lands, but I must also remember that I do not have the strength of my God.
And how could I forget that He did not call me to serve a million, twenty-three, or even two? He only asks that I serve one. The one He gives me at this moment in time is the one I will serve.
Tomorrow it might be another one, but when I focus on millions . . . I can miss the one.
When I stop to count the answered prayers right in front of me, my faith is renewed.
When I step out of the sinkhole of self-pity, I begin to praise this God who works miracles.
When I hear the devil whisper that lie again . . .
I purposely choose to praise the One who already has won the war!