Hi, my name is Gabbi and my day-to-day thoughts usually look a little bit like this...
"I wonder what my future husband is doing right now."
"I really hope I get engaged around Christmas time, so that I can have a fall wedding and not have too long of an engagement."
"I think I am going to name my first daughter AJ."
"Maybe when I graduate I can..."
"My first book will probably be about..."
"Should I move to Nicaragua one day?"
This is the part where you are supposed to say "me too!" and then we become best friends. Just kidding, but seriously. I know I am not alone in this. I mean, I don't know if you daily stalk every foster/adoptive mama you can find on Instagram, and I don't know if you have every detail of your next mission trip planned out (minus the actually scheduling it part), but I do know that forgetting to live in the present and spending all of our time focusing on the big-picture events of our lives is not exactly a novel concept. I know that I am not the only one that finds it easier to think about the major, more glamorous ways I can serve Jesus over the course of my life, rather than the little things I can do in the day-to-day.
Last week, I shared a little piece of my heart on my Instagram. I have to be careful because social media can be a serious source of the comparison game for me, and looking for likes and followers to define my worth. I have to be careful not to post things for the sole purpose of garnering attention, especially when it comes to posting about Jesus.
With that said, I posted on my Instagram last week because I felt the Lord place it on my heart that someone needed to read those words. Almost immediately, a friend commented and affirmed that, and I was grateful at the thought that I had served my purpose. But then another friend commented, and another, and then I received a text, and another text, and suddenly I had a ton of people telling me how much my words had resonated with them.
It would have been very easy for me to say that my post was a "success", because I got a lot of likes and comments. It was a success, but whether I got zero likes or one thousand, that would still be true, because my success is not in the response from the world but in my own obedience.
In fact, nowhere in the Bible does God validate our worldly ideas of success (just look at Galatians 1:10!).
I mean, just think about this for a second. There are over two thousand!!!! names in the Bible. Many of those names represent people who lived their lives wholly surrendered to Jesus. And we can only name a handful.
Ecclesiastes 9:14-15 says, "There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he, by his wisdom, delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man."
Did you catch that? This man, in his faithfulness to the Lord, saved an entire city!!!!! And yet no one remembered him. But that doesn't make what he did less important, or less impactful for the Kingdom of God.
I feel confident that that poor, wise man would have been faithful even knowing that he would never be remembered, but can I say the same for myself? What if God looked me right in my eyes and told me that my ministry would never be fruitful and that all of my words would go in one ear and out the other? I guarantee you my sassy butt would be like, "Uh... Hey Jesus... That is not what I signed up for!!!!!!"
But that's exactly what happened in Isaiah 6. The Lord spoke to Isaiah and basically told Him that his ministry would not be a success, at least not by our earthly standards. Isaiah had plenty of doubts of his own (told y'all I wasn't the only one!), but God put Him in his place about as quickly as He did me. Isaiah, you're not called to be fruitful, but simply to be faithful. Gabbi, you're not called to be fruitful, but simply to be faithful.
"Setting our gaze on Jesus may not bring the applause of the world, but it brings the light of God into our souls." – THAT is success. Faithfulness is success. Obedience is success.
More than that, obedience is God's love language. And obedience, not worldly success, is what He is going to reward. We may wish we were in different jobs, want more influence, or feel that we're making no impact in the world, but we can rest knowing that the Lord sees our faithfulness and will reward us in eternity (Galatians 6:9). As Matt Chandler puts it, "I guarantee you there's some old dude in some town that most of us have never heard of faithfully preaching to nine people every week and when we get to glory, we'll be awed at his house."
While we're here on earth, desiring to do huge things for Jesus is perfectly good and right, but we can find complete satisfaction in being faithful in the little things and opportunities before us because that's all that He's asking for. And simply doing what He asks of us IS the ultimate blessing. Godliness is not a means of gain, but is itself great gain.
So what does that mean for you and for me?
It means that if I want to be given a platform, and I want to be preaching at church but the only opportunity is for me to make coffee... someone much wiser than me said "you need to make the best coffee and have it brewing early."
Currently, I would love to be dating a man that encourages me to love the Lord more. I would love to be kissing Nicaraguan babies every chance I get. I would love to be writing and speaking about Jesus in a greater capacity, and sharing the Gospel all over the world. Those all sound like a much better offer than what the Lord has called me to right now.
But I am a single, broke college student, a struggling blogger, and a part-time employee at TJ Maxx (so obviously I am the best dang Maxxinista there ever was).
I wish that were true, but what I can say is that I am learning a lot about how I can be faithful with exactly what's in front of me each day, each week, and each month. Right here, right now. Nothing more, nothing less. There is no better offer.