little things

 The other day, I was talking to Daddy about little things. He told me this story:

There once was an old man who took long walks on the beach every morning. One day he saw a young man throwing rocks in the distance. As he got closer, he realized the young man wasn’t throwing rocks, but reaching down and throwing small crabs into the sea. “Young man, what are you doing?” he asked. “Throwing crabs back into the sea,” he replied, “they’ll die if I don’t help them.” The old man looked down at the hundreds of small crabs scattered on the beach for miles. “But there must be millions of them,” the old man told him, aghast. “You can’t possibly make a difference.” The young man bent down, picked up another crab and threw it into the ocean. “It made a difference to that one.” 

Our church takes teams of people to the beach to share the gospel on the boardwalk, and one of the things we do is set up a paint-board to share a message. It is always the guy who shares the message with the board when we go to the beach, for many reasons. As they share the gospel, a crowd forms, and in this way they reach so many people. I sit on the side in between the messages and talk to people individually. Many times I have wished to be like the ones who get to share on the board with so many people, instead of just talking to one or two people the whole evening. But you know what? The number of people I reached doesn’t matter. God sent those people my way, and my job was to share the good news with them. Even if I only talked to one person, it still mattered.

Sometimes God asks us to do little things. Things that may seem unimportant; things that appear insignificant; things that look like they don’t matter.

Maybe God has asked us to be one of the people who work ‘behind the scenes’ where most people can’t see.

Maybe God wants us to be the one at that big conference who cleans the chapel after everyone has left, instead of serving the food where everyone sees you and stops to offer their thanks. Or maybe, instead of preaching that great message that stirs kids’ hearts at a youth outreach, God wants us to stay in the back and pray for those kids hearing the message.

Or maybe, rather than sharing the gospel on a board to 20 people at time, God wants us to go share it with that elderly man sitting to the side on the bench, scowling, but listening.

Doing ‘big things’ is wonderful, and a privilege to carry out, and being content and doing the little things when God asks us is just as much of a privilege.

Hudson Taylor once said, “Little things are little things. But faithfulness in a little thing is a big thing.”

Jesus said, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much.”

Let’s be faithful in what our Lord has given us. Let’s not be distracted by the fact that what we are doing seems so insignificant. Remember the crabs? Every little thing matters.




9 thoughts on “little things

  1. Hey Esther! This was a really encouraging post! It is so easy to compare yourself with others and your accomplishments to those of your predecessors, but the simple truth is that God doesn’t call everyone to be martyrs in distant lands or to be great leaders and speakers. It is always nice to be reminded that “Great things” don’t always take place in the form of leading hundreds to salvation, but that even my attempts now to live like Jesus are making differences.


    1. I’m glad it was encouraging, Micah! And what you said is so true. God calls us each to different things, no greater or less than what He calls others to. It’s a matter of whether we fulfill that calling or not. 🙂


  2. Great post, Esther! This is something I need to be reminded of a lot, as sometimes I don’t think I’m really doing that much or making much of a difference; but God can use everyday faithfulness in the most unexpected ways…


  3. Thank you so much for this, Essie! This was a great reminder for me. It does get discouraging to not be seeming to make a difference for anyone, but if all of the little things didn’t get done, imagine what a sorry place we’d be in!


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