Do you feel insignificant? Like you have nothing to give that will make any difference at all?
I can imagine that the world’s shortest river might feel the same way…
The Guinness Book of World Records lists the world’s shortest river as the Roe River in Great Falls, Montana. The Roe flows from its source, the Giant Springs, and then dumps 200 feet downriver into the great Missouri River.
As I stood on the banks of the Roe, I couldn’t help but be amazed. You see, the waters springing from the Giant Springs are a bright bluish-green in color, and when then join the mighty Missouri, the waters of the Roe are not immediately caught up in and mixed with the Missouri. Instead, its unique color influences the waters of the Missouri for several hundred feet!
No, the Roe is far from being an insignificant waterway. On the contrary, it has the power to influence something as big and powerful as the Missouri River.
You are no different. You may feel that you have nothing to contribute, or that your contribution is too insignificant to make a difference; but is this really the case? The apostle Paul teaches that the church is all “one body”: “We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink.” (1 Cor. 12:13 NLT). But that “body” has many parts: “There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ…So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.” (1 Cor. 12:12,14 NLT)
If you have given your heart to Christ, then you are already part of that body. Just like the many parts of the body all have different functions, ever person who makes up the body of the church also has many different functions. Not everyone can expect to be a preacher. Not everyone can teach Sunday school. Not everyone is adept at being a greeter or at working in the kitchen, and not everyone would do a good job as a janitor. But each of these functions is necessary for the “body” of the church to function properly. Paul puts it this way: “Suppose the foot says, ‘I am not a hand. So I don’t belong to the body.’ By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. And suppose the ear says, ‘I am not an eye. So I don’t belong to the body.’ By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If the whole body were an ear, how could it smell? God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be. If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body? As it is, there are many parts. But there is only one body.” (1 Cor. 12:15-20 NLT)
And just like a body is handicapped if it loses a leg or an eye, the “body” of the church is also handicapped if it loses a youth leader or a greeter.
But wait. Not everyone has an official “function” in a church.
True enough, but as part of the global body of Christ, you have a “function” nonetheless. You are not here for nothing. Maybe your function is huge; but more than likely, it is small. Yet without you, the global body of Christ could not function.
Let’s take the young man, for example, who was about to commit suicide. Someone walks by and offers him a smile. That smile is a tiny, simple thing, and the one who offered it may have felt like he or she wasn’t doing anything worthwhile, anything that would make a difference. But that smile encourages the young man. He doesn’t jump from that bridge. Instead, he seeks help. During his search, he comes to know the Lord and gives his heart to Christ. He finds himself filled with purpose, and he becomes a mighty evangelist, someone who brings thousands to the Lord. And it was all because of that tiny smile!
Just like the unique color of the world’s shortest river influences the color of the Missouri for several hundred feet, everything we do has the potential of influencing someone…for the good, or for the bad.
The next time you are tempted to feel insignificant, remember the tiny Roe River and its power to influence the mighty Missouri River. Remember that you are part of the body of Christ, and without you, the body would not function as well. Remember that what we do makes a difference.
Go out and be a Roe River today! Smile. Lend a hand. Be a prayer warrior. Sing a song. Shake a hand. And just know that when you do, be assured that your efforts are having far more of an influence than you will ever know!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.