Recently I found myself looking out my cabin window at a beautiful, fresh Northern Arizona snowfall. I was in that place of great natural beauty to preach to a group of Christian men, challenging them to allow the Lord to use them in even greater ways. What an appropriate setting: mountains, lodgepole pines, elk, food, and fellowship with some good men!
How different it was from my normal setting. I am a city boy, born on asphalt and accustomed to ministry to urbanites. As I thought about that juxtaposition, it occurred to me how small I am and just how big my God is! How vast and diverse His creation, and how great His understanding and love for all places and all people! Like the Psalmist, I want to cry out:
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?—Psalm 8:4
That the God of creation would allow men like me to speak for Him is amazing! There are so many places and so many people that need to hear of our gracious Lord. We must seize every opportunity to witness of Him. Let me encourage you, that wherever you are, you would:
See the Lord
I look at this majestic scene of mountains and woods, and it shouts the creative hand and power of God. His signature is in every hillside, in every towering copse of trees, and I hear Him in every rippling brook. He knows this place, and He loves the people who call it home. However, He also is aware of every city street; He is compassionate toward those who bustle along its crowded sidewalks. When they lift their eyes and see skyscrapers instead of distant horizons, He knows them and sees their need. It is God’s heart that people in all the places of His earth hear His gracious call to salvation. Look for Him, for He is there.
See the People
Though God made the heavens and the earth, His deepest love is for the men who occupy His creation. The heart of the western rancher has the same need as the eastern office worker and the midwest manufacturer. Choose any location on this globe, any color of skin, any nationality, and there will be two things true of every person: God loves them, and their deepest need is Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Education, culture, economics, and geography may change their lifestyle, but never their need of salvation. People need the Lord!
As vast as God’s creation is and as small as each of us are, God has a plan for our lives and a place for us to serve. For some, God has a very specific calling to a place. Some are called of God to a city, while others are called to some foreign mission field; and still others move and serve at God’s direction in careers that we call secular, but are just as much a part of God’s plan as the full-time servant.
Regardless of where He places us or what our specific vocation might be, our greatest mission is to look with compassion on the people of that place and be the witness to them that God placed us there to be.
As insignificant as we often feel, God knows where we are because He placed us there for a purpose. We may be small in comparison to His vast creation, but God put little old us in a very large place, so that we could make a very big difference!