Today’s Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3
I recently read this quote: “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different?” The apostle Paul encourages us in our day by day in 2 Thessalonians 3. He reminds us that the day-to-day responsibilities and duties can be wearying but worth it in the long run: “Do not grow weary of doing good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13).
I don’t know who said it but it is so true: “The years reveal what the days do not tell.” That’s what Paul is trying to tell us—that doing what’s right and good every day without getting exhausted is our challenge.
Fred Craddock, in an address to ministers, caught the practical implications of how the day-to-day things matter when he said:
To give my life for Christ appears glorious. To pour myself out for others . . . to pay the ultimate price of martyrdom—I’ll do it. I’m ready, Lord, to go out in a blaze of glory.
We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking a $1,000 bill and laying it on the table— “Here’s my life, Lord. I’m giving it all.”
But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $1,000 for quarters. We go through life putting out 25 cents here and 50 cents there. Listen to the neighbor kid’s troubles instead of saying, “Get lost.” Go to a committee meeting. Give up a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home.
Usually giving our life to Christ isn’t glorious. It’s done in all those little acts of love, 25 cents at a time. It would be easy to go out in a flash of glory; It’s harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul.
My prayer is this: “Jesus, help me to be consistent with my twenty-five cents a day. Teach me that faithfulness counts. Teach me not always to look for the big moment but to look for the little places where I can show charity—especially where no one is around and no applause can be heard, except a Well done whispered in my spirit.” Those twenty-five-cent days are the day-to-day good decisions Paul is talking about. Not big exchanges of cash but little quarter decisions that pay off over time.
I want to tell you a cheese story. We know the guy but forgot about how a cheese delivery changed his life. He was doing a good thing for his dad and his brothers and because he did not get weary in submitting to his father, it changed the trajectory of his life. The delivery guy? David.
How did David start on the journey toward his destiny of eventually becoming king? A cheese delivery—saying yes to an errand his dad asked him to do:
“Take these ten wedges of cheese to the captain of their division. Check in on your brothers to see whether they are getting along all right, and let me know how they’re doing—Saul and your brothers, and all the Israelites in their war with the Philistines in the Oak Valley.”
David was up at the crack of dawn and, having arranged for someone to tend his flock, took the food and was on his way just as Jesse had directed him. (1 Samuel 17:18-20, MSG)
David’s destiny started by simply doing a small errand for his dad. And he took the cheese out of his hand and put a sling and rock in it shortly after. But who knew? Don’t get weary of doing good.
I believe entry ramps into your destiny starts with humble little tasks that don’t even match what you want to do in the future. I really don’t think David’s dream was to be a Velveeta cheese delivery guy. But he was faithful in doing the little things. As Hudson Taylor said, “A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in a little thing is a big thing.”
Don’t dismiss little things that are good. Many times the people who can defeat the giant are never selected because they hate cheese assignments. Don’t be a cheese hater. You don’t kill goliaths on goliath missions but on cheese missions. Cheese deliveries are the good things that Paul said may be small but good. It is doing something for others that will never get noticed or praised or seem significant enough to put on a resume. Don’t try to find your destiny. Just say yes to small tasks and your destiny will find you. What you see as a cheese delivery, God sees further.
An unknown author powerfully summarized the power of being willing to say yes to the small tasks:
You know the world is a better place because Michelangelo didn’t say, I don’t do ceilings.
The world is a better place because a German monk named Martin Luther didn’t say, “I don’t do doors.”
The world is a better place, because an Oxford don named John Wesley didn’t say, “I don’t do fields.”
Go from the beginning of the Bible to the end, and you will see over and over again the story of men and women who had servant hearts, minds, and spirits. And the world is a better place, because:
Noah didn’t say, “I don’t do boats.”
Moses didn’t say, “I don’t do deserts.”
Rahab didn’t say, “I don’t do hiding spies.”
Ruth didn’t say, “I don’t do mothers-in-law.”
David didn’t say, “I don’t do cheese.”
Jeremiah didn’t say, “I don’t do weeping.”
Amos didn’t say, “I don’t do speeches.”
Mary didn’t say, “I don’t do virgin births.”
Mary Magdalene didn’t say, “I don’t do feet.”
Paul didn’t say, “I don’t do letters.”
Jesus didn’t say, “I don’t do crosses.”
As Augustine said, “The last day is hidden that every day may be regarded as important.” So spend your quarter today.