Do our small drops in the bucket count?comment (0)
October 3, 2013
By Jennifer Davis Rash
The little boy’s story on the morning news program captured my attention as I was scurrying around to get ready for the day. I reacted exactly like the astute news producers knew so many watching would — I was inspired.
The cute 11-year-old (with red hair and freckles, I might add) had anonymously donated all his savings — $10.03 — to a local police department on Sept. 13 of this year after learning about the courage of police and firefighters who helped during the 9/11 tragedy 12 years ago.
The sixth grader said he had been saving his money since April to do something to make a difference, according to www.today.com. “It might not be a really big difference but at least it’s something,” he told reporters. “If every person would do that, we would have such a great world. It would be awesome.”
A few news segments later, Tom Brokaw featured his wife Meredith’s recent project in Malawi. She taught a group of women who work in a kitchen that feeds 300 orphans three times a week how to can and preserve tomatoes and then to set up a business selling them.
The women previously struggled to feed the orphans and themselves when tomatoes weren’t in season, but no longer. Their business is now supplying 15 supermarkets and a few upscale lodges with canned tomatoes, and they are making a living for their families as well as making sure the orphans are fed.
“The kitchen project is representative of what works here,” Tom Brokaw reported. “Not handouts, but local solutions to local problems. The women have made the most important investment they could in their children and their future. And it all started with tomatoes from their backyards.”
Meredith Brokaw added, “What [we] are doing is such a small drop in the bucket. But the fact is, if you do nothing, there wouldn’t even be that drop in the bucket. So I’m not a believer in saying this is just such a small project it doesn’t matter. I think it matters.
“We’re all used to giving aid to people. Aid after aid and not seeing a lot of results,” she said. “So by changing aid to innovation where they take on the project and do it themselves, it’s just a world of difference.”
I don’t know the faith background of the Brokaws nor the sixth grader in Wisconsin, but I know they are grasping what we as followers of Jesus Christ have known and practiced for a long time. We contribute financial gifts above our tithes to assist ministries and missions to make a difference in the world. We give of ourselves to serve, teach and encourage others. We help develop resources to give others a chance.
And while our ultimate goal is to share the Light so that every person has the opportunity to understand and accept eternal life in heaven, we also get to make a difference for people while living their lives here on earth.
As I watched these two news stories, I asked myself what and to whom I was donating financially. I also asked myself what non-monetary resources, such as time and service, I was giving to others.
I admit I sometimes think my “small drop in the bucket” really can’t make a difference, and then I am reminded of what Jesus said in Luke 21:1–4:
“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and He saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And He said, ‘Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’”
Maybe it’s money, maybe it’s time, maybe it’s knowledge — what, where and to whom are you giving beyond yourself?
So Much Rubble
But there is so much rubble and my strength has given out
Where my faith should be strengthened, instead is fear and doubt
The promises I make to You over and over again
I cannot consistently keep, for I am ladened down with sin
“Take no thought of your life, what you shall eat or drink
Seek first His Kingdom” and at sin, no longer wink
Lord I want to do Your will and please You in every way
I want to live a holy life and mean the words I say
But it seems as if I continually lose control
How can victory come to me if I never feel whole?
This void in my life I try so hard to fill
Leaves me feeing empty, yet I hear You say, “Be still!”
I heard a story about a sad and depressed clown
He made others laugh, but he himself felt down
I understood how he felt when his makeup was removed
I wondered if the tears he cried left tracks or shallow grooves
I wondered how his heart felt when he received the applause of men
Only to return home feeling, “This battle I cannot win”?
Did his family know what he was going through
Did he long for someone to tell his secrets to?
Then I hear You, Abba, speak so sweetly to me
My child, I paid the price, and you I have redeemed!
My eye is on the sparrow, I see each one that falls
And you are worth so much more, I hear you when you call
I am the Lord Jehovah, the LORD that Healeth Thee
In Me and only Me can you find lasting victory!
The void you try to fill will never be satisfied
For I alone can fill you, provide what’s missing deep inside
Your sins I have forgiven and provided a way for you to escape
You must seek Me first and foremost, no longer hesitate
For this is your year of victory, wait My child you’ll see
The failure you experience will draw you closer now to Me!
Our journey in this fallen world constitutes an obstacle course that constantly tests our ability to trust God. Wise people learn to count their limited days and then discern what really counts. … How can I best utilize those days to make the maximum earthly and eternal impact? The answer emerges in Psalm 90:16, “Let Thy work appear to Thy servants.” Our gracious heavenly Father invites us to see His work and join Him. If I stay close to Jesus so I can see His activity and join His timeless task of redeeming lost and broken people, then my days will count.
Pastor Jay Wolf
Character — Doing the right thing even when it counts more than we want to pay.
“The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
While being a pastor’s wife for so many years, I learned a lot about people. As I observed their actions, I discovered both good and bad traits — more good than bad I must say.
One area I noticed was the people who were free with their words as they praised other people. I liked that and have always tried to remember that few things motivate others more than warmhearted recognition and approval.
Could Christ’s cause be hindered because we don’t take the time to praise with our words and offer our prayers of support to workers in God’s kingdom?
Without words of appreciation one might develop the attitude of the people in the following poem (author unknown):
I’ve taught a class for many years;
Borne many burdens — toiled through tears.
But folks don’t notice me a bit;
I’m so discouraged — I’ll just quit.
Sometime ago I joined the choir
That many folks I might inspire;
But folks don’t seem moved a bit
And I won’t stand it. I’ll just quit.
I’ve led young people day and night
And sacrificed to lead them right.
But folks won’t help me out a bit
And I’m so tired, I think I’ll quit.
Christ’s cause is hindered everywhere
And folks are dying in despair.
The reason why? Just think a bit;
The Church is full of folks who quit.