I couldn't shake it - this feeling of ... uselessness. Growing discouragement and circumstances contribute, sure. But I couldn't climb out from under it ... and I didn't know why. (And you know how I need to understand the reason for things... )
What I didn't know was that a war waged in my subconscious, provoking questions like 'Do I matter?' 'Can I make a difference?' Satan had done a fabulous job of convincing me that one teeny tiny person can not affect change. The world will end, many will suffer their whole lives, countless people will go to hell. (All true) Nothing I can do will change that. (True to a point)The Enemy even used the Bible to evidence the ultimate hopelessness of it all, then brought to mind overwhelming images and stories of death, destruction, and desperation. It was too much.
Overwhelmed, I curled up in an emotional ball and listened.
‘there’s nothing you can do’
‘God himself will not stop it – and you can?! Arrogant!’
‘no matter what you do, evil rules this world. God says so.’
‘… besides – nobody wants to hear about Jesus anyway. God says so.’
This insidious twisting of God’s own word temporarily paralyzed me; because I chose to believe it.
But it is lies. Woven ever so carefully with beads of truth, but ultimately...LIES!!
While this soul battle was going on, God was working things together. It took me time, but soon I heard His voice...
-My friend and mentor has gently (and repeatedly) reminded me (for months) to return my eyes to Jesus. I'll wrestle with something and she'll point out, ‘Yes, but then where’s your focus?’. That little question has echoed into eternity. Her normal, everyday friendship has changed me. It has also translated to growth in others – as I apply her question to a good friend of mine, her focus also shifts. Two lives changed (plus children... plus...)
-Simple kindnesses making an eternal difference. The cake auction for one, and even when I cleaned a friend's house – it demonstrated Christ’s love to the couple. I was just helping, but God was there too – speaking to their hearts. Two lives impacted – through the act of cleaning toilets.
-Gospel For Asia’s newsletter brims with stories of how one person makes a huge eternal difference when following God. They also credit sponsors for having a part in this important work. It matters. Even donating a few dollars has an eternal impact.
-a radio speaker comes on(unusual on the station I usually listen too – generally just music) and talks about the ‘butterfly effect’ being scientifically proven. That one small, innocuous act can affect change even across the globe. Wow. Everything we do –or don’t do - matters. Everything physical, and everything spiritual.
- then a song comes on which sings my heart – show me what to do Lord, speak to me! (I prayed along with the singer … and whaddayaknow? Days later I see Him working in all this!! Praise the Lord!)
Then this weekend (Sundays seem to be especially impactful days for me) I heard God loud and clear. The speaker shared horrific statistics and stories of human trafficking (3rd largest industry in the world!) Women and children mostly, some for their literal body parts. Horrific. Choking back tears, she said, “I’m often asked, ‘do you ever get overwhelmed?’. Of course. All the time. But my job is not to save the world or to help everyone. I’m responsible for my little part.” With two fingers, she outlined a 2” square in the air.
My husband was away on a retreat and receiving a similar message that morning – that one person makes a difference. That we are responsible to do our part - it is eternally imperative that we do what we can to fight for justice, stand up for others, to practically demonstrate love to others.
I can not believe these lies anymore. What I do makes a difference. It counts.
Thank you Lord, for freeing me to live with purpose and meaning. Thank you that I have a part to play in eternity. Thank you Lord, for your living word which is full of promises and direction. Please show me what to do – who to love, and how.
“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.”
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”