A little thing is a little thing. But faithfulness in a little thing is a great thing. -Hudson Taylor
I have been reading Mountain Rain – It’s a wonderful biography of the life of James Fraser, missionary to China. This excerpt gripped me as if the words jumped off the pages.
It has come home to me very forcibly of late that it matters little what the work is in which we are engaged: so long as God has put it into our hands, the faithful doing of it is of no greater importance in one case than in another…The temptation I have often had to contend with is persistent under many forms. “If only I were in such and such a position” for example, “shouldn’t I be able to do a great work? Yes, I am only studying engineering at present, but when I am in training for missionary work things will be different and more helpful.” Or “I am just in preparation at present, taking Bible courses and so on but when I get out to China my work will begin. Yes, I have left home, now but I am only on the voyage you know; when I am really in China I shall have a splendid chance of service.” Or, “Well, here in the Training Home, all my time must be given to language study – how can I do missionary work? But when I am settled down in my station and able to speak freely, opportunities will be unlimited.” etc. etc.
It is all IF and WHEN, I believe the devil is fond of those conjunctions…The plain truth is that the Scriptures never teaches us to wait for opportunities of service, but to serve in just the things that lie next to our hands…Since the things that lie in our immediate path have been ordered by God, who shall say that one kind of work is more important and sacred than another? I believe it is no more necessary to be faithful (one says it reverently) in preaching the Gospel than in washing up dishes in the scullery. I am no more doing the Lord’s work in giving the Word of God to the Chinese than you are, for example, in wrapping up a parcel to send to the tailor. It is not for us, in any case, to choose our work. And if God has chosen it for us, hadn’t we better go straight ahead and do it, without waiting for anything greater, better, or nobler?
If you’re like me, maybe at times you miss this perspective in the quiet places of your heart. Perhaps you also think you could do more for the Lord if it were not for this difficult circumstance, or that physical illness. We can find ourselves here when we do not see God as the Source of all things. He has a perfect Path for our lives. He as our Creator God, our Good Shepherd, and Our Loving Father has promised over and over to show us. What He places in our hands is ordered by God. If we are faithful in the things that lie next to our hands today, we will be where He wants us tomorrow. It’s not the smallness of our work but the greatness of our King.
Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. -Philippians 1:6
This work is IN YOU and in me. Sometimes we read the REVERSED version which reads, He which began a good work around you. Sometimes we look at our circumstances SO much – and surmise God has stopped working – because it no longer seems good. So we put on our “GOOD” gloves and get to work making it all good. He’s concerned about the “in you”. He’ll take care of the “around” you. He’s always at work. We can be assured that our lives will be to the praise of His glory if we trust Him and whatever work He places in our hands.Mountain Rain, By Eileen Fraser Crossman – quotes from pages 17-18. This book is available at www.baptist-books.com