I’m guessing that at some time in your life you’ve wondered, “Do I make a difference? Would anyone notice if I were gone?” There are many variations of this thought but it all comes down to the desire to know we’re relevant, that we matter, that our contribution is part of a bigger picture, an essential piece to complete the whole puzzle. It’s all part and parcel of the question, “What is the meaning of life?”
To quote Gru, of Despicable Me fame and then the Bible, Rick Warren & many others, “Here’s the dealio.”, “It’s not about you.” From the day we’re born, our innate or natural desire is to have our own needs met. We don’t come out of the womb thinking, “Wow! That had to hurt, Mom. I really hope you’re OK.” No our first thoughts and reactions are, on instinct, “I want what I want and I’m going to let you know about it by crying out loud.”
Until we are exposed to the Truth of God’s Word, the Holy Bible, our first thought and response is to look out for me and mine. Me first, but protecting my stuff, my family, my friends, my neighborhood, my community, my country will also come into play. Yet, exposure to and transformation by God’s love transforms our thinking; our eyes begin to see beyond me and mine to His. From the very beginning of the Book we see that it’s all His, so our petty and selfish desires hardly register compared to the magnitude of needs around the world. When we finally gain vision beyond ourselves we finally begin to catch a glimpse of the potential part we might play in meeting needs around us and around the world.
My dad always said, “Success is recognizing a need and meeting it, fulfilling it.” Our problem arises from this. If we are self-centered, self-focused, we will look at our own resources (those hoarded and protected things that are MINE) and say, “I’m sorry. I can’t help.” The answer lies in the life surrendered to Christ. That life, that person or group of people instead say, “Abba, we see the need and it’s overwhelming. We can’t do this on our own, but we know that You have helped us to see the need and you’ll help us to meet the need.”
Until you experience the way God meets needs with your help, you can’t fully understand what it is to realize humility and pride at the same time. General Frederick Coutts, of The Salvation Army wrote, “Humility is to rise to one’s full stature by the side of Jesus Christ, and then to realize what pygmies we are in His shadow. This cuts a man down to size, in other words, blesses him with a sense of proportion.” ~ The Splendor of Holiness. When we work alongside Jesus we realize how little we have to offer, how much He overwhelmingly offers, as well as how much He loves having us there to help. He loves our contribution when we freely and joyfully give our all to His cause. In that we can be content and proud. We’re not haughty, simply pleased that He chooses the likes of us to help Him carry out His work. Similar to when my son helps me change the flat tire, handing me the right tool when I ask for it, Jesus expects & enjoys our company & help in completing the task.
What it comes down to is this, if you really want to know who you are and if you matter, you’ll only truly find the answer to that when you are fully surrendered to Jesus. It’s in our surrender to Him that He is able to challenge us beyond our own capacity to His capacity and sufficiency to fulfill what He’s asked us to do. When you’re walking beside Him you hear and sense Him saying, You matter. You make a difference. Your contribution counts. That’s why I paid the price for you to join me.”