When God works through us...

Ministry can be pretty thankless work. You put everything you've got into what God has called you to do, and the best you can hope for every now and then is to hear someone say, "Good sermon, this morning."

And then there are times when you discover that God is really doing something through you! This happened to me after church today.

I was having a conversation with a couple of guys at my church--well, it was more like they were having the conversation and I was listening! They were talking about the business world--which I haven't really had a lot of experience in--and how difficult and frustrating it can be as a Christian.

One of the guys--I'll call him Steve--was talking about how his company had once instructed him to fire an employee who was beginning to show signs of epilepsy. They said that it was too expensive to keep him on with all the medical expenses the company would incur! To me, that's unbelievable! But then, I live much of my life in church-land.)

Against his better judgment (and fear of being fired himself) Steve did end up firing the man--who then had a heart attack soon after being fired!

After they found out about the heart attack, one of Steve's supervisors poked his head into Steve's office, gave him a thumbs up, and said with a smile and wink, "Boy! We sure dodged that bullet didn't we!" Meaning, of course, the company avoided even more medical expenses for the man who'd been fired.

Steve, however, felt awful about, not only this situation, but others like it. Eventually, he left the company.

After telling this story, Steve turned to me and said, "And Markus, you really helped me with some of this stuff last year."

I said, "I did?"

And Steve replied, "Yeah, I remember you saying in one of your sermons once that living as a Christian is harder than it is not to. And I remember thinking about that as I was going through some of this stuff." And he talked about how much easier it would be just to do things the world's way, but that as Christians we have to live a different way.

I tell this story not to boast. Clearly, I had no idea that I was saying anything particularly helpful for Steve. But it's so encouraging to know that God can work through a single comment (or a single touch, or a single visit, or a single phone call, or a single...) to move a person to walk closer to Jesus.


Jonathan said...

That's pretty awesome, Mark... makes you realize that you do make an impact, even though 99% of the people probably don't say a thing about it...

Russell Smith said...

Sweet! Its moments like those that make it worth it

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