“God has something big in store for you!”
“I know something big is right around the corner!”
These phrases, and countless ones just like them, have been spoken by me and to me for years. They come in all shapes and sizes and hold varying degrees of hope, but they all have two words in common: something and big. And they are all meant to encourage and inspire young people to wait on the big things to come along.
I have always desired big assignments from God. I want to be in the middle of big things and fun places. Don’t we all? Why go on a small mission trip, write a small blog, or read a small book when I could make a bigger impact on others and in myself with something a little bigger? Go big or go home, right?
But when big, wondrous things do not come immediately, I start panicking and doubting myself. I hear the whispers in my ear, “You are not big enough; you can’t do it.”
Everyone around me said I would be doing big things, so why do I still feel like an ordinary person stuck in an ordinary situation?
I asked a friend that question and they said, “But you are doing big things! You just can’t see it yet!” Big things that I can’t see? I don’t think so. You can’t just look over big things, they should be loud and obvious.
I don’t want to put words into their mouths, but I am sure there were times in the Bible where the men and women thought they were just carrying on with everyday life, but God used their actions for something amazing. Too often, I think everyday actions are what happen while I wait for the big things. But in reality, those day-to-day events are what God is using to mold and shape me as a grow in relationship with Him.
When Joseph was sold by his brothers, he started as a servant in Potiphar’s home. He slowly worked his way up to a position of power and prestige. Sure, as Joseph gained more power, the pay raise must have been nice; but he did not know God would use a promotion to influence history. He spent years of his life just working in Potiphar’s home, but God was using that time as a servant to prepare him for something bigger.
I can’t know for sure, but I doubt Joseph thought his everyday actions would influence people in 2016, but that did not stop him from faithfully obeying Potiphar and serving in his home. Joseph followed God’s will for his life, even when that meant working as a servant and not as a world-changer.
God only asks us to obey. When we obey, He might lead us to big and wonderful things. Or, He might lead us to small and beautiful things. Either way, we are fulfilling his will, so it will lead to something amazing.
Often, God’s plan for our life is not the same as our plan. We tell ourselves that “following God’s plan” will always lead us to good things (Romans 8:28), but then we insert our own plots and label them as God’s plans. Sadly, that’s not how the Bible works. Believe me, I wish it was. I wish I could attempt big and wonderful things and God would always make them work out, but that is not always what He calls us to do.
This is not to say God won’t leads us to extraordinary things. Just that He does not alwaysask us to do something big. Sometimes we just need to be obedient to His will, even when that does not lead us directly to greatness.
Jesus, who did more amazing things than we could ever dream of, was a carpenter before He ever calmed the storms or healed the sick. God may be using our “boring” lives to prepare us for His will, or maybe He is using us in the background- but still for His glory.
An obedient life looks different for everyone. Maybe it means finishing up your college degree, or maybe it means taking care of babies at home. Obedience could mean traveling around the world or starting a business. Maybe it just means getting a new job and providing for your family. All of these are equally important, as long as we are following God’s plan for our lives.
Ambition blinds us. It tricks us into believing the will of God is something other than it actually is. It makes us think that because we serve a big God, that all of our actions must be big as well. However, sometimes He calls us to simply obey by continuing with our everyday life. Those mundane things can lead to amazing ends in the hands of such an awesome God.
God never gave us qualifications to be His children. He never said we must go on mission trips or volunteer at VBS every summer. He does not demand our every action be extraordinary. But He does demand one thing- that everything we do be for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). And as long as we follow His will, that is what it will be-beautiful and glorious, no matter how mundane it may feel.