None of us really knows exactly what the Lord is doing when He calls us to join His work. In fact, I think that sometimes we can get so caught-up in trying to figure it out that we can become discouraged in doing what He asks of us…especially when we don’t see the results we think we should.
Through the projects and people of Catalyst, I’m coming to a much broader understanding of what it means to be a servant of Jesus. I’m reminded of the time when He looked at a vast mob of thousands of hungry people who gathered to listen to Him teach on a Galilean mountainside, and he told the disciples beside Him to feed them all. As they scoffed dumbfounded at the impossibility of the situation, one of them brings a young boy to Jesus and says “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Then Jesus proceeds to do the impossible, miraculously breaking the bread and fish into pieces and feeding all the people in groups of hundreds and fifties – until everyone was satisfied and several basketfuls remained. What we now know as “The Feeding of the 5,000” became a spiritual benchmark in the life-journeys of all those people who were blessed by the Hands of Jesus that day.
A few days ago, Catalyst finished a massive home-restoration project for a low-income single mom; which I know will become a spiritual benchmark for her, her 3 kids, her neighbors, and some of our volunteers as well. Over the course of 4 days, 60+ volunteers donated their time and energy to replace crumbling siding (about 65% of the home), repaired structural dry-rot, removed and rebuilt the most hazardous deck I’ve ever seen, and painted the whole dang house…for free…with the explanation that the $15k-$20k-valued project was a gift from the Person, and people, of Jesus.
She cried a lot, and gave lots of hugs. Deep conversations about Church, the Bible, God, and His pursuit of her and her kids, happened throughout the project and are continuing now that all the people are gone and the noise has abated. As the project was happening, 3 of our volunteers befriended a set of sisters next door who had just lost their mother, ministering and praying for them. Each day, neighbors walked and drove by asking who the heck we were; and when we told one man what was happening, he cried and said he wanted to volunteer with us.
None of us who worked on the project knows precisely how Jesus will use this experience in His ongoing journey with all the various people touched by it. Our job is not about strategizing outcomes for the people involved, but about following Jesus into the world, offering the contents of our satchels into His Hands so that He can do amazing things with them…each of us doing our own small part to join Him in His work.
Construction projects might not be your thing, but each one of us has talents and resources that can be of great value in the work of the Kingdom all around us every day.
How about you? What do you have that can be placed in the Hands of the Master?