Jesus Multiplies the Small
by Heather Bock
Yesterday I posted a question on Facebook: “Besides the Bible, what book was influential in the way you think? Maybe even life-changing?” I was blown away by the number of people who responded and the fact that many of them couldn’t narrow it down to just one. Of course, I recognized quite a few titles and authors, including One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. However, I was surprised by how many I had never heard of before.
As an aspiring published author, I am painfully aware of how many books exist in the world. I wonder if my own Bible study will ever come to anything beyond what God has done with it so far. Sometimes I despair of my blog posts making any difference at all. After all, like those who noted famous authors having influenced their way of thinking, I also have been inspired and challenged by name-brand books. What’s the point? If I don’t write, those who read blog posts and work through Bible studies will just learn from the Beth Moores and C.S. Lewises of the world.
Crying out to God, asking Him whether I should just give up on this whole endeavor, I hear His reply. He encourages me, tells me to keep on in the little places. He might send me a message from someone who has been inspired by a line or two of mine. Perhaps He points out a subscriber who might never hear His voice any other way. He may direct my eyes to statistics from my tiny blog: views from 75 different countries in the past month, some of which I’ve never heard (where in the world is Brunei, and why did that person who lives there end up on my site?), others in places where the gospel is severely limited.
Then I look at that list of influential books from little-known authors that my friends posted on my feed, and I think, God can use my words after all, just as He used all these others. It just takes one person using the voice and message God gave. Even the well-known authors are simply single people, stepping out to write the words God gave them to write.
I am reading Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way, and in a story she relays, I realize it doesn’t even take the written word to influence. It doesn’t even take a well-educated voice. Ann writes about her youngest daughter speaking words that explode an idea in her head, an idea that colors the world a new shade, moves her to a new perspective. She writes the words and spreads the message far and wide. Many are changed.
You don’t have to be a writer to change lives with the words God has given you. You don’t even have to be a good speaker. You might change lives through your simple actions, through a kind look as you notice one not normally noticed, or through a small gift given. Nothing is small to God.
In front of 5,000 hungry men, not including their wives and children, Jesus took the five small loaves given by a young boy, “and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted” (Jn. 6:11).
He takes our small offerings given with love and sacrifice and multiplies them far beyond what we could imagine.
0 thoughts on “Jesus Multiplies the Small”
Never ever give up.
Love it Heather. Keep being obedient to where and how Jesus is calling you.
Thank you, Beccy. I will!
Heather, I’m proud of you for following your dream and striving to reach your goals, and in the meantime, being faithful to write so beautifully so that certain words will reach the exact person God is aiming for.
Thank you, Mom! I hope He does use my words!
I understand where you’re coming from. “What’s the point of writing something when there’s Christine Caine and Beth Moore?!” But as the Lord has been working with me on: we’re all part of the body, and we are all a different part of the body. And, my husband always encourages me: don’t discount the small number of people who are visiting your blog. You never know HOW much you’re impacting them.
Thanks for sharing this! Can’t wait to see how God multiplies your ministry!
Thank you, Taylor! Yes, it’s good for me to remember that I can speak to people that might ever read anything by a famous author. God does know what He’s doing!
Keep up the good fight. It’s worth it. Reaching just one is better than telling Jesus you dug a a hole to hide your gifts rather than investing them.
That’s right—use my talents! It has been worth it so far. Some days I forget that, but God keeps reminding me.
I love this: “He takes our small offerings given with love and sacrifice and multiplies them far beyond what we could imagine.” You’re right – nothing is small to God. And, though I totally agree with your words about our small offerings, I can allow myself to get discouraged sometimes, and I need to be reminded of that yet again. When we’re obedient to write the words He puts on our heart, I believe He uses them for His glory and honor and to further His kingdom in mighty ways, whatever that looks like to Him.
I have to be reminded of it all the time even though I’m the one who wrote the words!
It’s like that story of the man throwing the starfish back into the ocean. The endeavor seems futile, except for that one or two or three. The Bible Study I led online last month was challenging because I didn’t know who was participating, but God kept saying “one”. If one person is moved by the study, even if that “one” is me, then it’s worth it. Like Lot told God regarding Soddom and Gomorrah…if there is “one”.
Don’t aim for hundreds or thousands, just be obedient and aim for one.
Love you Heather! Keep pressing on!
Yes, that starfish story is a good example of this. Yes, God has had me write for just one, and I can do that, but I’d much rather be used for more than one. He says be faithful in the small things, though!
I’m right there with you!
Heather. I hear ya. Sometimes I wonder… Why do I feel compelled to do this? But what I can share that popped in my mind as I read your words is simply this: there has never been an experience in my past that God has not put to use in my present or will use in my future. So right now will eventually be your past. And something about what you are doing will be very important for your future present. Keep seeking. God directs his faithful ones.
That is a very good perspective—encouraging, too! Thank you!
I so relate–I think any of us who are called to create can feel intimidated by the “stars” in our field and wondering “what’s the point,”–yet how amazing is it that in the face of all of that God is calling us to create anyway, to not look at those who’ve “made it,” but at Him.
Definitely, and I can also remember not to compare my beginning with someone else’s middle like you said!
Grateful for this post and perspective!
Keep on, sister!! There is a much bigger picture of how HE is using you every day, especially through your writing. You gotta think that for every comment you receive, there are probably so many more that people don’t send their comments. God will place those words He has given to you in front of someone at just the right time…I almost wrote “write time.” ha! Exactly!! Your writing could be the reason someone is encouraged, brought closer to Jesus, turns back to Him after having been gone for so long, inspired to write themselves, courage to be brave. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing the realities that go through so many of our hearts and minds as writers.
Thank you, Krishana, for your encouraging words! The hope that my words make a difference for someone and the belief that God has called me to do this is why I keep going week after week!
Heather – my deal with God is touch one, encourage one, help one through my writing and speaking and I will continue. He needs to remind me of that every now and then, but it has worked in those seasons where I am comparing myself to others. It reminds me of where my heart is, brings me to repentance, and gets me back in the right direction with Him. Thank you for your faithfulness in writing. You are and do make a difference.
Thank you, Dawn! He has reminded me to write to just one, but He has been gracious enough to let me reach more than one when I’ve been discouraged.
Wow! I had to scroll through so many comments on this one to add mine to the pile. You, Heather Bock, are awesome. God has given you a courageous heart to express His heart through your words of obedience. I love this post, and its theme has surfaced in another book I started last week, “The Simplest Way to Change the World” by Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements. They emphasize how God uses the small to make the biggest impacts for His Kingdom. Just like the boy and his small lunch, we bring our small offerings of ourselves, lay them on the living sacrifice altar before God, and watch Him explode them into sparks of glory for His good pleasure and the building up of our faith in a good, good God. Keep writing, sweet friend!
I think a lot of people felt sorry for me! I certainly wasn’t fishing for kind comments. Everyone was so nice, as were you with this comment. Thank you! That’s interesting that you saw this theme somewhere else recently. Don’t you love when God brings up the same message several times in a row?
I can so identify with your thoughts and words. I love God’s Word and love to teach. Sometimes it’s as though no one listens or cares. I too have written a Bible study (and self-published) and was slightly disappointed with how little it seemed to matter. I realize we may only get a glimpse of the impact our words and writings have on people, but some day God will show us fully. Thank you!
I know how much people have influenced me who might never know, so it gives me hope that I may have some positive influence, too. It really inspires me to be vocal and tell others when they’ve had a positive effect on me.