January 31, 2017

Doubt Your Life Makes a Difference?

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 31, 2017

By Shana Schutte

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Most of us have times when we wonder if our lives matter. We hear stories of people on the news and online we believe are making a big impact, and we feel small and insignificant. We roll through our days. We get up, go to work, sit at a computer, teach in a classroom, or work on a construction crew. We go home, eat dinner, slide into bed and wonder if any of it mattered. We doubt our lives really count, and deep down we may fear that we’ll get to the end of our time on earth and wonder if we accomplished anything of significance.

Recently, I was encouraged about this tension that we feel about wondering if what we do makes a difference. Why? Because I believe that most of the impact we have is hidden from us. We won’t fully know how our lives have truly counted until we get to heaven.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

Take my grandmother for example. My Grandma Freda, or “Grandma Nick” as we called her, had a huge impact on my life in a way that she knows nothing of. She was a spunky, energetic, intelligent, curious, creative, and positive woman who had a knack for embracing family, accepting others, and bringing people together. These traits shined brightly when she married my Grandpa Gerald before I was born. You see, Gerald’s first wife died of cancer. He had two teenage boys. Grandma embraced Grandpa’s boys as family and loved them like they were her own. As a result, I have always seen these two men as my uncles, and their children are my cousins. They are family. I have never doubted they are a part of me, because Grandma accepted them as part of her. She loved well.

Fast forward fifty-five years or so. There I was standing at the crossroads of singleness and marriage to a man who had five (yes, five!) grown kids. Even though my husband had the scriptural right to remarry, I still wrestled with becoming part of a blended family. But as I prayed about my decision, I also thought about Grandma. Her example of love and embracing my uncles in particular deeply touched my heart and helped just when I needed some guidance about the decision to tie the knot. God used her example to help me choose to love not only my husband but all of my new stepkids, too. Now, I adore each one and am so thankful for them.

1 Peter 4:11 says, “If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

Grandma never knew how her service and love caused me to praise my God. As I was saying, “I do” she was in a memory care unit in my hometown and passed away about a year later. I can’t wait to see her in heaven one day and share my story. But, perhaps she already knows.

As you go about your days, remember that your impact may not be felt by you, but as you serve God in all that you do and glorify Him, lives will be impacted. Others will praise Him.

Your life makes a difference.

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

 

Prayer

Lord, I thank you that as I walk with you each day you will make a difference through me. Help me to love and serve others the way you desire. Amen.

Application

Call someone who has made an impact in your life and may not know it. Tell them thank you and let them know that they make a difference.

Related Reading

Proverbs 3:5-6; 1 John 3:18; Ecclesiastes 2:24

Post/Tweet today

When Christ makes a difference in our life—our life makes a difference. #WisdomHunters #HiddenImpact

Worship Resource

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Comments

  1. Susan says:

    Boy did I need this today. As a grandma to five plus one step granddaughter, I question my relevance in their lives. Two live so far away but I have good relationship with their parents. The other three have suffered the divorce of their parents plus their daddy, our son, is now married to third wife who brought into the relationship a little girl. They too live some distance away but my husband and I make at least one trip a month to go see at least the three grandkids who live with their mother. It has been hard at times as former daughter in law has hindered our having much contact with the kids until this past year.

    I have come to understand that simple acts of kindness are mighty weapons of warfare. So we do not know how much impact we have in the lives of others through random act of kindness even a simple smile can help brighten another person’s day.

    Thank you for sharing your life lesson. Your devotionals bless me.


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