In Genesis chapter 29 and 30, a story is told of a man who was in love with a beautiful woman. He laboured to earn her hand in marriage; unfortunately, he was deceptively given the older sister. For what reason? It was not their custom to give the younger one away when the older was unmarried. Determined to still have his initial choice, he worked a bit more; and that was how Jacob ended up with two wives; Leah and Rachel. Sadly for Rachel, though she was the loved wife, she was unable to bear children for some time and to compensate for Leah being hated, God opened her womb and she bore Jacob seven children. There developed intense rivalry between the two sisters and certainly competition must have been a daily activity. Eventually God remembered Rachel and she bore two children for Jacob.
In the subsequent chapters of Genesis, we see Joseph being sold by his brothers into slavery and how God used him to preserve and save the lives of his family. Before having her own, Rachel must have daily watched Leah playing with her children. Do you think she ever imagined that she would bear a son whom God was going to use to save the lives of Leah’s children? Per human understanding, we would have expected one of Leah’s sons to be the one to save the family, considering they were many and even older. This is not to say Leah’s sons did not have a purpose; I just want to draw your attention to the difference “one” can make in the lives of many.
In a world with so many people, it is easy to feel irrelevant and disregard your abilities, gifts and talents; we are made to believe we can’t make a difference. We are lured to think that in the grand scheme of things, what we have to say, offer or do is just insignificant. We are busy envying and idolising the “many” things others have at the expense of the “one” thing entrusted to us. We admire and place high value on the woman who owns houses, businesses and cars, forgetting that it was our advice that prevented her from going bankrupt. We admire and wish to be that brother in church, who preaches, teaches, sings for angels to move and has it all together, forgetting that it is our prayers that keeps him going. Who said, “who you are” or “what you have” is insignificant?
In this journey called life, we are to sustain each other. Your breakthrough lies with me so does mine lie with you or the next person. Don’t devalue what you have, don’t despise your small beginnings; even when your ending seems “small” don’t disregard it.
If you think you can’t make a difference think about the boy in John 6. His lunch, five loaves of bread and two fishes were used to feed five thousand people; because of him, no one went home hungry that day. How about the widow in Mark 12, who dropped two small copper coins in the offering basket? Because of Joseph, his family survived the famine and a mighty nation, Israel, was birthed. None of them had a way of knowing what this meant to God but here we are over 2000 years later talking about them. Who said you can’t make a difference?