There's a bigger picture.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Have you ever invested in someone's life only to wonder if the time, energy, and prayers you sowed did anything? It's easy to give our hearts, wisdom, and encouragement when we see results, but how long do we continue to invest in someone before we decide it's not working and potentially not worth it? Let's face it people can be hard to work with. Why? Because we live in a fallen world. We are all messed up. We all have our own struggles. If we didn't we wouldn't need Jesus. But, most of the time people in messy situations can be down right hard to love. There will be seasons where you feel equipped and empowered to sow into others as you see people forever changed by the grace of God. You will see people saved, healed, and set free. But, what will happen when you're in a season where you're not seeing any of that fruit? A season where investing in someone's life leaves you drained and discouraged. Do you keep giving or do you walk away? Each situation is different. Each situation requires you to seek the Lord. During these times we have to let go of our tunnel vision. We have to remember there is a bigger picture that we can't always see. This past Saturday at one of our local outreaches I was able to see the bigger picture as I overheard a conversation. One of our volunteers was having a conversation with someone and said, "Harry and Shelly got me and my husband off of crack cocaine five years ago." Obviously it caught my attention and I quickly jumped in to the conversation and reminded this woman that it was Jesus that delivered them. She responded with, "Oh I know, but ya'll introduced me to Jesus." Five years ago when we met this woman and her husband they lived in a tent in the middle of the woods. It was obvious they had some kind of drug addiction, but it wasn't like that came up in a normal conversation. We spent months ministering in those woods to several people as they faced homelessness. We would randomly visit, take supplies, and we held Bibles studies in the tent city. If you would have asked me what God was doing while we were in that season I probably would have told you, "I have no idea." It was obvious He was up to something, but fruit wasn't something we saw everyday. We just stood in faith for the group of people that God put in front of us. Fast forward five years later and this woman now faithfully volunteers with us every week. We never would have known all God delivered her and her husband from if I wouldn't have overhead the conversation last week. It has been obvious over the past several years that Jesus changed her life forever. It wasn't anything we did. We simply were obedient to go where God wanted us in that season. God sees the big picture. When we give and give and give and see no change in someone's life we must stay faithful and believe that there is a bigger picture. Even if we never see the change we can rest in knowing that God has a plan. Don't give up. Don't stop loving. Don't stop investing. Be faithful. We pray that in every season you would be encouraged to sow into the lives around you. May you always let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.