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Keep planting and watering

In a life where you are supposedly committed to the vague and idealistic task of "making a difference in people's lives," it is often difficult or impossible to know if that is actually the case or not. The distractions of daily details, the almost constant grind, the discouragements of difficult people, and the somewhat continual sense of falling short sometimes put really huge blinders on being able to see that God has actually done real work in affecting someone's life through you.

But, I have also found that when that doubt nags at you the worst, God seems to always give you the exact kind of shot in the arm that you need to know that something has come of your investment in others in some sort of important way. For me, it has been a couple of short notes recently sent to me from unexpected sources. Notes that say, simply and straightforwardly, that something about their lives is different because what God has done through our relationship. I'm not going to lie, I get a little teary-eyed at that. It's something that puts the big picture back into clear view and helps me to remember that something much, much larger than myself is taking place here.

Another thing that it does is help me to know how much I need to be expressing my appreciation to all those in my life who have and continue to impact me in important ways. One of the five "love languages" is words of affirmation, and is definitely one of my "needed" languages. I want it to be one of my top "expressed" ones as well.

So, always have faith that your life is making a difference if you are determined for it to do so. But never judge the success of that by what you see or experience yourself. You may or may not know all the time just exactly how until the rare occurrence that someone actually expresses it to you, which may or may not happen. Either way, press forward.


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Blogger Wes and Ellen - 9:05 AM

Cary,

I'm glad that you have been encouraged. You are so right about this downside to ministry. It reminds us who the big shot is I guess. Those encouraging notes, hugs, and affirming conversations sure do keep us going.

Wes    



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