God doesn't have big expectations of us. As humans we sometimes think in order to do God's will we need to do something spectacular. But, in reality the smallest things we do to further His Kingdom make Him happy.
Charles Stanley in his online devotional on Monday said, "The Lord isn't waiting for us to do some big, impressive task for Him; He's simply calling us to obey Him one small step at a time."
It took me a long time to be at peace with this realization. When I began working with the Lakota Baptist Church to provide Christmas presents for the kids, who attend church at LBC, I had great visions of expansion. In a few years, when people heard what we were doing, we'd have presents for all the kids on the reservation who wouldn't get a present if it were not for this mission. Almost seven years later, we're only able to provide Christmas presents for about 100 kids each year. Just what we started with in 2005.
I had the greatest of expectations from my fellow man. In my mind, even the hardest of the hard hearted wouldn't deny a kid a Christmas present, but in reality most people just don't care about the little kids located a thousand miles away. And so, I've felt frustration and disappointment because I can't do more. And, I feel frustration and disappointment as I see our little ministry struggle just to raise the funds we need to provide for the 100. Now, we have been able to add to the ministry to provide new winter coats and a VBS and carnival for the kids, but we struggle to make it happen.
The team for this year met the other night to discuss a fundraiser we have planned. We need at least $10,000 this year and we have roughly $6,000. I've done all the math and it would take just 100 people to donate $100 over the course of a year to have the funds we need. It seems small really if you think about how quickly someone can spend $100 today. And yet $100 from 100 people might as well be $1 million from 100 people.
My friend and fellow blogger, Audra, loaned me a book entitled The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller. It's a short read, and has some interesting thoughts in it. One thing that stuck out was a comment by a woman who recently had been saved. Keller in his book says the woman commented about how scary it was to be saved by grace. She said it was a good scary, but scary. Keller was intrigued by her statement and asked her what she meant. She said if we're saved by works then God can only ask us to do so much. There's a limit to what He can expect from us. However, if we're saved by grace, then there's nothing He can't ask us to do. We've been bought with a price - Jesus - and God can ask anything of us.
God doesn't expect the spectacular, but He does expect us to do something for His Kingdom. Maybe you can't go to Pine Ridge, but can you give $50 or $100. Maybe you can't give $50, but can you make a pie or cake to auction at our fundraiser. Maybe you can't bake, but can you buy a big bag of candy to use at the carnival or a nice toy to be given as a prize.
Pine Ridge is a hard place. Nothing spectacular happens when we're there. We just love on a bunch of poor kids who have a hard life ahead of them, and pray that for one or two the love we bring to town once a year can make a difference.
Maybe you think God is telling you to go to Pine Ridge, or Ecuador, or Africa, but you don't have any special abilities. God gives you what He needs from you. You can help make a difference too if you're just willing to do something. God doesn't need you to do the spectacular. He just needs you to show up and to do.