Have you noticed how different the earth looks from a plane window? When we are on the earth without high ground, the surface of the earth curves out of our sight after several miles. But when we are in a plane, or on a mountain, we can see much more. In fact, on a clear night, from a mountain, we can see a candle flicker up to 30 miles away. It’s times like these that really put life into perspective. Studying Church History, for me, was like taking a plane ride over the expanse of time.
Like James 4:14 says, we certainly are like a vapor that vanishes in a moment’s time. We need to trust God with the big picture, because it is much bigger than we can see.
Recently, I have been studying Church history, and it gives us so many encouraging examples of faithful people who listened to, and followed God’s direction, even if they couldn’t see any of the harvest (or the “Big Picture”). People like Adoniram Judson for example; a man who worked as a missionary in Burma during the end of the 19th century. It took Judson 7 years before he won his first convert. Yes, 7 years. To be honest, if I were Judson, I probably would have given up after 7 months. He couldn’t see the big picture, but trusted in a God who does. Later, the seed Judson sowed reaped a harvest so great that thousands of people, from a tribe called the Karen, accepted Christ. At the end of the 20th century, there were more than 100,000 Karen believers. Talk about being faithful to God, even when your work seems futile.
Life is about serving God faithfully, no matter what fruit we can or cannot see
Studying the history of the church and learning about people like Judson, and many others makes it obvious to me; life is about serving God faithfully, no matter what fruit we can or cannot see. We could be a reaping harvest, sowing the seed, or even just removing the rocks, but as the missionary Robert Bruce said: “let it be maintained with comprehension, love, and fervent prayer.” (Neill 1965:311)
We need to apply this right now in our daily lives. Be careful to listen to, and follow God’s direction for us, and remain faithful as long as God is calling you to it…For who knows what God will do with our work of faith tomorrow, next year, or even next century. For God’s plans are much bigger than we can see.
In God’s Love & Grace,