How much can I do?

Life in ministry is full of choices. You answer God’s call and go out to change the world but come home wondering if you did anything.

My late husband would tell the story of his early days with the Lord and watching the news of a terrible famine in Ethiopia. As an engineer and Christ-follower, he immediately wanted to sell everything and give his money to those suffering. His wise pastor told him, “If you give all your money right now, how many can you possibly feed? Yet, if you give your life to the Lord’s service, you can reach even more.”

While I’m sure he still gave money to the relief efforts, that was a turning point for Raouf. He was no longer a happy engineer. He would be miserable until he gave up his entire life to the Lord’s service, quit his job and began seminary. There is no doubt that countless lives have been changed for eternity because of that choice.

Today I had a choice. While translating for a woman in a difficult domestic case, I knew that her future would not be easy. It never is when a Muslim woman makes a decision against her husband.

What could I do? I showed compassion, translated what was needed, and gave advice to the Americans who were trying to help. In the end, as she stood to leave, I stopped her.

“I’m a Christian,” I began. “I know the days ahead will be hard for you, but I will be praying to Jesus that he will give you peace, protection and comfort.”

Though we were wearing masks, she grabbed me and hugged me.

I still let her leave, knowing the road ahead would not be easy.

I made a choice. Will I see her again? Like so many of the women for whom I’ve translated, I doubt it; but I pray that the seed of peace and love that I’ve thrown on the heart that is broken, will slip into the cracks for God to water and bring fruit.

Each day we have opportunities to be salt and light. Some choose to leave all to dedicate themselves to that effort. I walked alongside my husband in that for over twenty years. Just because I’m not in “full-time” service doesn’t mean I no longer have the choice on a daily basis to live as his ambassador.

I still hold the seeds in my hand. I want to be alert and ready to let them go at his direction.

Spreading the seeds of the gospel doesn’t always mean we solve people’s problems; and I think as westerners, that’s a hard reality. However, my intersection in the life of another is always just one piece of the plan God has for them.

I choose to do my part and leave the rest to Him.

What choices are you facing these days that are hard? Don’t feel limited or guilty because you can’t “fix” everything. Play the part God has for you for this moment in the life of another. He’ll bring the harvest and blessing in his time.

Grace and Peace


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