“My heart is not proud, O Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul…”
-King David, Psalm 131:1-2
Often times I DEFINITELY think I’m in WAY ABOVE my head when it comes to matters of Church ministry! I mean, consider for a second that my “Big Boss” is the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE! My final accountability session on what I teach and preach will not be before mere mortals. I/we will have to answer to GOD for what I/we utter in His name.
Therefore, I AM IN OVER MY HEAD! I cannot quantify or measure enough successes or failures to truly know whether or not I am pleasing my God. All I can do is 1) Walk by Faith; 2) Trust God at His Word; and 3) Pray to God for mercy when I mess up.
Now that we have that established, I want to share a recent short story with you when it comes to simply following the leading of God’s Spirit and trusting Him at His Word. 🙂
A few weeks ago our student ministry hosted a Dessert Theatre Auction where we provided a variety of desserts and a few select BIG items for auction in support of our 2013 Missions planning. Students produced videos and performed dramas, dances, & musical segments, all centered around the Person of Jesus. In short, it was a POWERFUL night of creativity and practical pursuit of advancing the Kingdom of God through the creative arts.
In the months leading up to the auction, I had a sense that I needed to donate my Willie Mays Baseball as a sort of “seed” offering, which I had won at a similar Youth Auction a few years previous for the sum of $300. Now, PAUSE. If you are a baseball fan like I am, and you have a son, as I do, then one of the first questions that SHOULD cross your mind is, “what will my son say to me when he learns later in life that I donated his “inheritance” to an auction to raise money for missions?” I HOPE he would say, “Way to go dad! Gee wiz, you’re the BEST! Way to put Jesus 1st!” Or he may respond the way my dad did when he found out Grandma gave his Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron baseball cards to the next door neighbor kid out of compassion: “What were you thinking!?” And to be honest, I still wonder the same thing. So if the father is like the son, which in this case I am like MY father, then one can appreciate my concern for my son’s eventual response toward me, that is if I tell him this story, or if its still available on the internet…if there even IS an internet then…I digress.
And we’re back! So that $300 baseball was a BIG deal, especially since the SF Giants were going to (and eventually won) the 2012 World Series! To make a long story short, the baseball was auctioned off for $550, which in all honesty isn’t so bad, considering that is almost double what I bought it for. In short, I was happy that my investment was almost doubled through a donation to missions. As they say in “churchy” realms, or if you’re my uncle Bill, lovingly mocking me: “Praise the Lord! Glory hallelujah!” etc., etc…
But, as God is better at writing miracle stories than I am, I’m going to go ahead and let HIS exclamation point be the last one here. The next day after the auction was over, one of our students, the daughter of the man who bought the baseball, who also happened to be spending her 14th adoption birthday THAT day, came to us with a $3,000 check! She said, “my dad said that should cover the baseball and anything else you need for missions.” Uh, YES! In essence, God took my little $300 offering and turned it into $3,000!! For you math people, that’s $300×10! Wow! As cool as this is, isn’t God MORE than that? Does that define His abilities? Yes and no. Meaning, yes…he can do that. And, no…He can do “ABOVE and BEYOND what we can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20)!”
2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” We see this principle all over Scripture. I wonder if I had sown MORE into the spiritual ground of our student ministry, what the results could have been. That said, I am THANKFUL for how God moved on the heart of my brother to give ABOVE and BEYOND what was required of him and above & beyond what I could quantify or even expect in my mind. Here’s the cool part: he didn’t know it was my baseball or how much I bought it for. He simply allowed the Lord to use him and God worked out the details.
I didn’t know that when I planted that “baseball seed”, it would bear fruit 10x of what it originally went for. But, that’s how God’s Kingdom works I suppose…by faith, not by sight, and we simply need to trust God to take our little bit and make it into more. The question is, will we have the faith to give up the “great matters” or “things too wonderful” and BE STILL and QUIET so He can do extraordinary things in our lives?
As David penned, “I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me, but I have stilled and quieted my soul…” I cannot predict what God will do based on my actions, nor do I wish to. I CAN hope for His favor and blessings. I cannot quantify His blessings, because that would be like trying to number the sands of the seashores and the stars in the sky. Instead, I’ll simply walk in faith and allow HIM to be God and do the miracle stuff…He’s kind of good at that sort of thing, even when it comes to something as trivial as a baseball with scribbled ink on its surface.