Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday in the Word

The Starfish Story
by Loren Eisley

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Matthew 25:40

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

I'm sure many of you have heard this story of the starfish. It's one of my favorites and I was reminded of it while in Belgium. Sometimes the task of reaching others...of telling others about Jesus...of making a difference in the lives of others...can be very daunting. It can seem like a waste of time. It can seem like it's not making any difference at all. But if you stop and think about the one that it did make a difference to..? Then it's all worth it.

We just got a report this morning from a small church we visited in Namur, Belgium last Saturday night. A woman wrote to us letting us know that she was planning on committing suicide that day and as a last ditch effort for help she did a Google search for "hope". One of the search results that came up was Hope for Wallonia, the concert we were a part of that night. In her letter, she told us that before she knew it, she was at the concert, unsure of how she got there.

After the concert we had a time of prayer at the altar. Many people came up for, women, young, old. It was powerful. The Holy Spirit was heavy in the room. He was moving. And we got to be a part o fit.

We don't know who this woman was, exactly. But God does. God knows her. He knows every hair on her head. He knew her when He formed her. He has plans for her. And that night, He got a hold of her and her life will never be the same. Not only did she attend the concert...she also accepted Jesus into her heart.

One starfish at a time. One person at a time. Nothing is impossible with God.

*photo by Panhala


Anonymous said...

this has always been my favorite story, i have it posted on my refrigerator. sometimes it's really important to remember one at a time.

your trip sounds like it was very fruitful.

Mari said...

Oh my goodness....awesome, touching...and I'm so happy YOU got to be a part of it. God is good!
Can't wait to hear more!!!


You Can Call Me Jane said...

Amazing, amazing, amazing. This just goes to show that God does the ultimate work in people, the work of their hearts. We're just here to help provide the witness, the events and encounters. Oh, to be on God's team!:-)

Tia said...

I never read the starfish story, but I like it. What an amazing story, and just think how many more were touched by you all's ministry abroad...the stories you do not know.

I'll be looking for starfish at work tomorrow.

Nancy said...

I had never heard the starfish story before. Love it though. One at a time is all we can do.

I got chills reading about the woman whose life was touched. Awesome is He!

Unknown said...

How good of God to show you a glimpse of His work through you and the team! And I'm sure it is just one of many stories of lives that will forever be changed. HE IS GOOD!

Anonymous said...

welcome home