So last week I looked at the importance of having complete dependence on God, getting into the habit of prayer and trusting him for all your needs – no matter how big or small. Today I want to build on that by looking at “moving into action”, and how we can make a difference on a daily basis in our lives.
Something that I constantly hear is ‘how could God use little old me, what could I do to make a difference in the world’. We can make the big mistake of thinking we have to be God. We then look at everything wrong in the world, feel incredibly overwhelmed and want to hide safely away from all the pain as nothing we could do would make any difference. This reminds me of a story I love. A little child is on a beach where thousands of starfish have been stranded on the sand. One by one she goes up to a starfish and throws it back into the sea. Her parent points out that she will never be able to make much of a difference because of the amount of need. Without being deterred she picks up another starfish and throws it back in the sea, looks her parent and says “it made a world of difference to that star fish.” That story always helps put things into perspective for me, reminding me to focus on the things I can make a difference with rather than what I can’t do.
We don’t have to try to save the world, act as God or take on overwhelming and unachievable targets. Individually we will not be able to help every charity, every cause, every person and every need and we are not called to. But what we can do is to make a difference where we are, within the community we are in, and within our families and friends. We need to not be afraid of what we can’t do but be faithful in asking and seeking where God wants us each day, which causes to get involved in and how he can use us. One of the most amazing ways you can do that is to be who God created you to be – and that is you! With your personality, your gifting, your hobbies, and your character. It’s learning to embrace that God has given each of us different gifting and characters and put us in specific places, families and locations for a reason. Yes there may be millions of song writers, but there is no other one with my exact history, my exact character, my exact experience and heart in my exact location in my exact position. God has given me this gift for a reason and put me in a place to make a difference. I don’t have to try to be someone or somewhere I’m not but seek to be who I am where I am.
We can make the mistake of thinking it’s just the big things we should be doing, and that it only matters to God if it is massive and life-changing, but I want to challenge that. It starts with the small. I believe when we are faithful in the small we are trusted with more. There will be times in our lives when we are involved with things that seem big, but there will be more occasions when it is the small and mundane. So let’s start asking God how we can make a difference and thrive in being who you were made to be and blessing others and worshipping God at the same time. I’m an encourager, and a songwriter, so one thing I do is if I see a friend going through a hard time I will write them a song, and send it to them to remind them that God loves them, that I see them and am standing with them at this time. I am simply being me, and encouraging and blessing someone at the same time. If all of us blessed just one person a day even in a small way think of the phenomenal difference in our road, workplace, town, city and even world – we need to get into the counter-cultural thinking of putting others before ourselves.
So if you bake can you bake someone a cake who has having a hard time? if you are good with numbers can you help someone who is struggling with their tax return or bills? if you love cleaning can you go clean someone’s house who is ill? if you are good with children can you offer free babysitting to a couple or single mum struggling to get out? Let’s go even smaller, can you smile at someone, open a door, buy a coffee, say a prayer, listen to a friend?
What may seem small and insignificant may be the life-changing thing that person needs. Sometimes when someone is in a downward spiral having a simple smile, small gift, a call or text saying someone is thinking of them can make a huge difference. Let’s be listening to what God puts on our hearts, being true to who God made us to be, walking together in unity and seeing what an incredible change God can bring.
I pray my blog today encourages you, inspires you and helps you to see how you can be stepping out in faith each day in what God has for you, and to discover the incredible joy that comes with this.