Years ago, the Lord called a woman into full-time Christian ministry. He placed her in a particular setting where He wanted her to minister. Developing projects for the local church was her love, as well as writing, which she enjoyed immensely.
One day, the lady’s focus began to shift. She began to doubt if what she was doing was even making a difference. She had worked tirelessly on countless assignments, while seemingly impacting only a few.
Finally, this disheartened woman went before the Lord in prayer. The lady reminded God on this day that He had called many people to ministry and was using them to reach thousands-upon- thousands of people. With a sparing few the lady seemed to be reaching, she wondered if the continued effort was worth it. She even began to doubt her usefulness to the Lord. Out of desperation, the lady posed a question to God: “What can I bring to the table?” Discouragement clouded the lady’s call, as well as the Lord’s overall mission for her life.
As the lady continued spending time with the Lord, a long-ago story quickly came to her mind. The story reminded her of God’s love—not only for the masses, but also, for the one.
The Star-fish Story
“While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. There were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, ‘It makes a difference for this one.’ I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.”
After reading the story, the lady knew God was ministering to her heart, while reminding her, she was making a difference—one person at a time. Afterwards, the lady picked up her computer to check her emails. To her surprise, she had received a message that would echo what God was attempting to teach her on this day. The email stated: “Thank you for writing to encourage so many that needed to hear this, including me.” As the lady pondered over the email, she became fixated on the statement, “including me.”
On this day, the lady became encouraged by a powerful message God was teaching her. It is not about the masses, but about the one! For when you reach the one—that one—will reach another one—and these “ones” will become the masses.
In John, chapter one, we read a powerful story of how Jesus reached the people.
“Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and *said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ 37The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38And Jesus turned and saw them following, and *said to them, ‘What do you seek?’ They said to Him, ‘Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?’ 39He *said to them, ‘Come, and you will see.’ So they came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. 40One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He *found first his own brother Simon and *said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ). 42He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter)” (John 1:35-42, NASB).
Notice: in verse 41: “He found first his own brother Simon.” Simon was one person, yet look how God used him to reach the masses.
“The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He *found Philip. And Jesus *said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip *found Nathanael and *said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph’” (John 1:43-45).
Notice: “Philip found Nathanael.”
“Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and *said of him, ‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!’ 48Nathanael *said to Him, ‘How do You know me?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you’” (John 1:47-48).
Notice: “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Truths to Remember: God cares as much for the one as He does for the masses. Let us set our minds on following Jesus—finding those Simons, those Philips, those Nathanaels—one person at a time. Do not get caught up in the masses, but instead in the one—or the few—to whom God has entrusted you to minister.
Written by, O’Shea
Cover photo by: David Mark from Pixabay