The Value of One


The photo above is an excerpt from the notes from my Bible study this past week, the words of which meant so much to me. We were studying the Parable of the Lost Sheep in Matthew 18:10-14 (which, coincidentally, is what I am basing my new children’s book on!) and discussing the great value that God puts on each one of His children.

I have spent most of my life wishing I could do something big and bold for God, feeling like I could do more, and feeling restless in my current situation, which felt too small and insignificant. But the older I get, the more I realize the great value that God puts on the life lived faithfully that may feel “small”; that this calling of mine, though it sometimes feels small and insignificant, is beautiful and valuable to Him.

We know that God’s economy is different than ours (the first shall be last, the least shall be greatest, etc.), and what He values looks very different than what the world values (and even sometimes what we Christians value). But the life lived “small” is incredibly valuable to God. In fact, in this parable, the Shepherd leaves the many - the big flock, the service to many, or what could stand for a big project or large ministry - and goes in search of the ONE.

I love the value God puts on the ONE. That means he values me, and you, and every baby, child, and adult. And even in addition to that, it means he values “the ministry of one” as my Bible study teacher said. It may feel small, but it isn’t to God. He’s calling us to be faithful, in the small and the big. And really, it usually is the small. It is clear that God can use the big - think Billy Graham - but most of us are called to live small lives, impacting the small circle of those around us. And that is beautiful, valuable, wonderful to God.

So I thank you, God, that you see this small life of mine, that you value the ONE, that you see and value me when I can only serve ONE. Thank you that you come as a whisper (1 Kings 19:12). In this world of “the bigger, the better”, that is not what you value. When you were asked who is the greatest, you called forth a child (Matt. 18:1-2). You are bigger; you are better; and that is enough for us. And I thank you for being that for me, for valuing this small, but not insignificant, life of mine, and for giving me contentment in it.

I pray that for you, too.