He facetiously calls me a world changer and we have to laugh at that. Clearly, I am not going to change the world. I mean, I’m only one person, one mom, one voice. My little brother (“little” as in mid-twenty-ish years old) calls me that because we both know it is my heart’s desire. Deep down, I wish I could change the world so that all people loved one another and treated each other peacefully.
I would love to feed all of the hungry people and care for all of the babies without mommies. My heart breaks when I think about the babies without mommies to hold them and hug them. I really wonder, sometimes, how many more children we could care for. I wish I was like those incredibly patient, strong, and selfless women I read about who adopt eight children and shower each of those orphaned lives with unconditional love, but I am fairly certain that I can only raise one or two more children at the very most. That might sound crazy to you, or maybe your heart completely and fully relates to me. I just can’t ignore the legitimate need. Babies need mommies and daddies. I wish I was capable of a bigger change, but we’re just one family, one house, with limited capabilities.
The same thing happens when I think about the strong desire on my heart to sponsor a child in the near future. If I sponsor one child…is that ever going to be enough? All of those children need the resources that sponsorship provides them. How do I sponsor only one sweet child without sponsoring two dozen? (Side note: I most definitely cannot afford to sponsor two dozen children, unfortunately. I’m just sharing my heart here.)
The daily doubts are even louder, evoking fear in my heart. You know all about these daily doubts because you most likely doubt, as well. The thoughts that creep into my heart and say, “You can’t make a difference. You just lost your temper over a mess of Legos.” (Can I get an “amen” about the Legos??? Such. A. Mess.) The doubts whisper, “Who are you to think that you can spread joy to others when you were so impatient at bedtime last night?” That is when I have to put the brakes on. “Enough!” I say. The inner-monologue that follows has proven to defeat fears, doubts, and lies from the enemy. In those moments, I stop and ask myself, “Wait. Who is this coming from? Is this how God sees me? Is this truth from God’s word?” Friends, I am here to tell you that the doubts are never from God. Sure, God gives discernment and wise judgment, but God NEVER tells me to stop loving others or to stop following Him. The Gospel never tells me to throw in the towel. We have a race to run!
The truth in Jesus is always the still, small voice that says, “Follow me, Courtney. When you are weak, I am strong. My power is made perfect in your weakness. My grace is sufficient for you.” Right there, in 2Corinthians 12:9, I am firmly loved and strongly reminded that it isn’t about my capabilities or what I cannot do. No, not at all. Following Jesus is always about faith and what HE can do.
Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. (continued from 2Corinthians 12:9)
You see, God doesn’t ask us to change the whole, wide world on our own and we shouldn’t buy into the enemy’s lies that our small efforts aren’t enough. God simply (and sometimes not so simply) asks us to trust and obey. That has always been our calling: to follow Him wherever He leads. You don’t have to change the entire world on your own, and you will not. Can you be a vessel for Jesus, though? Oh yes! Can your light shine brightly so that others will glorify your Father in Heaven? Yes, Ma’am! You are meant to live out Matthew 5:16 and you should shine with all of your heart. Run THAT race! Shine that light and shine it brightly! There’s no sense in hiding your light under a bushel because the deceiver convinced you that it wouldn’t be enough. You are called to love Jesus and called to love others. You have a divine appointment to love and to spread joy. Only you can do what God has called you to do.
You may be familiar with Katie Davis of Amazima Ministries. She is the author of one of my very favorite (in the entire world of libraries) books ever, Kisses From Katie. She is younger than me, but I want to grow up to love the way she loves. I want to grow up to be like young Katie simply because SHE is striving to live like Jesus. She’s a true world changer, yet her humble words resonate so beautifully and speak a truth that my heart had been longing to hear.
“I will not change the world, Jesus will do that. But I can change the world for one person. So I will keep loving one person at a time.” ~Katie J. Davis, Kisses From Katie
So, in Uganda, with the girls that God has entrusted her to love, Katie keeps loving one person at a time because she knows there is power in one. Caring for one child at a time (and she cares for many children at a time) is better than living a life having turned our heads in another direction. So, in my life, I keep striving to follow Jesus to the next task that He has entrusted before me. My Creator has allowed me to shine a tiny little light in darkness and it is my responsibility to be faithful in that little shining of light.
My favorite t-shirt was packed in my suitcase two summers ago for my first international mission trip to Haiti. A soft, green, and comfortable tee was the perfect companion for a
slightly warm…no, unimaginably hot climate. When I bought the shirt, I thought the quote was very nice. The words on that shirt spoke to my heart in a new way when I pulled it out of suitcase that morning in Haiti. The comfy tee had a quote in pink letters that read,
“Do small things with great love.’ ~Mother Theresa
And so I did. That week was full of small moments that changed my heart forever. As far as I know, I didn’t change the world last June, but my love for those people, who spoke another language, grew and blossomed. I knew that I would return home able to love my own crew more fully and abundantly. In my pursuit to be a world changer, sometimes it is my own heart that is changed.
Here’s the secret truth, though…which will cease to be a secret when I share it with all of you, of course. When my brother laughs and calls me a “world-changer,” my cup overflows and my heart is filled with joy, because I know that following Jesus just may change the world for someone and changing the world for just one person may leave a lasting eternal impact. No matter how small my efforts may seem or how minute my acts of love may appear, my light shines the brightest when I decide that every act of love will be purposed to bring God glory.
- How can you shine more brightly today, wherever you are?
- Which small acts of love can you carry through with great love?
- Which people has God placed in your life for you to love this very season?
- Do you live to bring glory to God and to point others toward Him?
- Think of one thing you can do in the next hour to let light shine through your loving actions.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. ~Matthew 5:14
Shine on! Love in the small things and the BIG things! Be faithful in all things. Change the world around you with every act of love. Jesus will do the rest.
From my heart to yours,