Teens ran in and out, slamming doors. Several folks came in who don’t have the luxury of getting a shower when they want one. The AC wasn’t on; the air was heavy and close in the church basement. A couple of volunteers called in sick. The grill wouldn’t light, so dinner was late. More chaos.
“Am I making a difference, God?” I may as well have said it out loud – no one would have heard me in the din.
He didn’t answer – or I didn’t hear, because I was too busy running from fire to fire to put them out as best I could.
Several days later, I’m still wondering, but I’m wondering if my question might be the problem. Since when am I the one who makes a difference? What power do I possess that can vanquish chaos?
I’m well aware that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. (The entire chapter speaks to this.) The point of this passage is the power of God working through me. I know it seems like a small distinction, and this is precisely the point. When I get tripped up with making a difference, I’m after results in others’ lives. A good goal, to be sure. But that isn’t my purpose in Christ. Just far enough off to be a big difference.
In Christ I am to–
- Love God and others
- Have the attitude of Christ and become like Him
- Do the works He prepared in advance for me to do
- Be faithful in the above
Being concerned with making a difference distracts me from my true directive.
I wonder if the saints in Hebrews 11 or Dr. Leslie asked the question? On this side of history we know that God worked wonderfully through them. All they knew was that they were faithful. And that is really enough. All else is pride – another distraction.
God effects change; we have the incredible privilege of cooperating with Him in His work.
If we are faithful.
READY FOR SUNDAY
People raising their hands when I am leading them in worship makes me feel good. Because it makes me feel that I’m doing “it” right, that my efforts are worthwhile. But again, that’s not the point, is it?
Not being able to affect change can be discouraging and demoralizing– when my value gets wrapped up in what I do. But when I go after the heart of my Savior and let Him change others’ hearts, I am free– the heavy weight of producing results is lifted.
I choose the latter.
And that, to borrow a line from Frost, has made all the difference.