For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:6-7)
I have been in this desperate place lately, asking God to not waste my life.
He and I have spent hours together as I study the Bible, write talks, and then give them. He and I have spent hours in prayer as I invite Him to use all of my relationships with people for His glory. I ask that He leverage each relationship toward the Kingdom, either to point people to Jesus, mature them in the faith, or that they spur me on to know God better. As for my children, I have done my dead-level best to teach them about Jesus and model for them what God’s love looks like.
Why have I been feeling so underutilized?
For one, I can’t see people really responding in any visible ways lately. Things feel so much the same. And much about my life looks small. Small blog. Small job. Small family. Small audiences. How, God? All the beautiful things you have taught me. All of those hours. Where is it all going? I can’t see. Please don’t waste anything I have sown in faith, even the tiniest little thing.
No one person seems super interested.
No one has really soaked it all up. Sure, my children have probably soaked up most of my life perspectives, but not the Bible knowledge, those pages of wealth and richness. My manna. It feels like so much of what God has done and taught is still trapped inside of me.
But recently I had a thought that finally settled my soul.
I have strewn seeds widely, all the way back to when I was in middle school. And if God would simply allow each of the seeds I have sown in faith to grow to its fullest extent, then nothing about my life will be wasted.
I can trust Him with that.
How do we position ourselves to live a life that gets poured out? All of it poured out. Not one drop remaining.
As a child of God, invite Him into all you do, then walk in the power of His Spirit to live like well, sowing seeds of His Kingdom everywhere you go. Sow seeds of teaching, example, writing, friendship, discipleship, sacrificial love. Seize every opportunity.
Then trust Him – and ask Him – to grow each seed to its fullest extent.
Planting even just one acorn produces an oak tree years later that lives beyond our life-spans. Imagine all the acorns we have scattered – one toward this person, another toward that person. They are crunching under our feet! Sure, we have scattered some in self-effort instead of faith, but He may even grow those for the sake of the other person, if not for us. We know He will absolutely grow each and every seed that has been planted in faith.
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward. (Matthew 10:42)
He takes even the smallest of efforts done in faith and grows them exponentially. No one person has soaked up all God has done in and through us, but God has scattered our efforts everywhere, both the grand and small. In His hands, each will grow. It’s the kingdom way.
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32)
Consider praying this prayer. Based on last week’s post HERE, consider praying it fervently.
I invite You to infiltrate all parts of my life with Yourself, leveraging all aspects of my life for Your Kingdom as I walk closely with You. Please don’t waste any of it. I ask that every iota of what You have done in my life, and every aspect of truth I have shared, be left behind to grow to its fullest. I pray all the parts of my life are somehow poured out and absorbed into Your story. May every last drop disappear into the ground on which it is sown and become irretrievable. I want this short life to glorify Your name and You do too, so I trust you to accomplish what I know is Your will.
In Jesus Christ’s name,
Picture Explanation: These were happy moments in my week. A neighbor gave me the tulips and I smiled every time I entered my kitchen this week. The Greek tray is my favorite dinner to go at Costco and makes my tummy happy for a few days. And my son makes me happy every time he throws his arm around my shoulder, which thankfully, he does a lot.
© 2020 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.
You are my friend who always points me to Jesus! Each time I’m with you, I feel closer to Him and excited to do His Will. You have changed me for the better, Laurie! ❤️
Thank you for letting me know some seeds are growing. Means the world to me, especially this week. Thank you for taking the time to tell me too. What giant words.
You have blessed my life in many ways, Laurie. Many years ago I saw your love for Jesus and wanted to know you better and wanted to have a relationship with Jesus like yours. I have learned so much from you about the Lord and His Word. And I have been blessed by your kindnesses to me so so many times! You have a very special place I my heart!
And you have a special place in my heart, my friend! So glad God made us country neighbors for a while, and friends for always!
Thank you for sharing the prayer, Laurie. I prayed it. Thank you for the reminder to ask the Lord to use and bless every iota of investment into others. Thank you for your friendship over four decades! That first year I knew you, you were Jesus to me. God used you to change my life and to set my feet on The Rock. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You were “small” then, but your impact was great. Your impact is great today and by God’s grace, it will continue to be for years to come until you stand before your LORD and He says to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Lord, please bless Laurie’s faithfulness. May her every word, her every thought, her every prayer, and her every deed please you and minister to others!
Funny you should respond to this post. When I get discouraged, one of the things that encourages me is you — what God did through an eager college student in Holland Hall. YOU. God has been kind enough to let me see some of the fruit of my life with my own eyes by having you as an example, so I can imagine the same growth occurring in others that I cannot yet see. What a gift you are to me and the world. Keep shining brightly.
Oh,Laurie…this is so timely for me. I just returned from hearing Beth Moore in Irvine….your blog post and Beth’s teaching both helping me refocus and “see” what I’m doing, be it every so small, has value to the Kingdom. Thank you….love your pictures. blessings to you
I am so glad my post was timely! I pray my posts are! So glad you saw Beth. I heard online that it was a good one!
Hi, dear friend,
I too can feel I have so much more gold (or manna, as you refer to it) that I’ve harvested to share than is currently being solicited. What encourages me in this is 1.) I am not an accumulation of what I do. My value was never meant to be determined from my actions, how well they’re received or their results. My value comes from God making and repurchasing me alone, period. 2.) My job is to abide in Jesus. His job is to bear fruit that He has prepared in advance through my abiding. He gets to choose the type, the amount, and especially the timing. 3.)If God wants to open a door, He will. 4.) I can’t imagine a branch being impatient or groaning! It’s content to stay connected, eyes on the Prize, Jesus Himself. So, that’s where I’ll stay.
Thanks, Laurie, for being an example of abiding through thick and thin, rain or shine! It matters more than we know!
“My job is to abide in Jesus. His job is to bear fruit that He has prepared in advance through my abiding. He gets to choose the type, the amount, and especially the timing.”