A dear Methodist couple involved in sacrificial ministry were among several who wrote to say that recent gracEmail thoughts about being “on the shelf” in God’s service also expressed their feelings. Perhaps these words to them will also connect with other hearts already joined in human frailty, ambitions and frustration.
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Never forget that God is using and will use you both, according to his sovereign will. Part of my problem (and perhaps it is more widespread) is in thinking that little or nothing happens in the one-on-one encounters and in the many obscure events, in the little-noticed messages and the unheralded ministry to individuals or families, in the daily good deeds and the regular acts of obedience which go unannounced before and unreported afterward.
It is helpful — and humbling — to recall that most details of the lives of most people who have ever lived on the earth fall in those categories. The recent invention of mass media and instant communication has made possible religious “stars.” And that has improperly led many of us to think that the alternative to stardom is insignificance — that we are either famous or a nobody. In our saner moments, we know better, but I am convinced that the temptation to such thinking is both real and prevalent.
As my wife regularly reminds me (that is part of her God-given ministry) when I begin to whimper and complain about not “accomplishing” anything (which she translates, properly for the most part, into “not being in the spotlight”), I have been given far more attention already than she or most of God’s people have been, and that is probably more than I deserve if I never received any more.
I must remember always that God sees everything I say and do. If I really come to believe that his judgment and opinion are the only ones that matter eternally, I will finally realize that his observation and his approval are quite enough for this life as well.