“So no one will ever be able to boast, for salvation is never a reward for good works or human striving. We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!”Ephesians 2:9-10 TPT
“A little goes a long way” is a familiar saying we apply to all sorts of things—from spice, to garlic, to logic, to flattery, to perfume, to jewelry, to makeup… But, beyond our kitchens, closets, philosophies, and compliments, every little thing we do can go a long way in God’s hands.
We see this concept throughout the Bible in the lives of men and women who did something big with the little they were given. Joseph was the youngest in his family and sold into slavery, but because of his faithfulness to God, he eventually rose to a position of power and saved the Egyptians and Israelites from famine. Gideon was the least of his family, yet his small army defeated the much larger Midianites. David was also the youngest of his family, however, with just a sling and a stone, he defeated Goliath. Esther was an orphan placed in the king’s palace who saved the Jewish people from annihilation and preserved Jesus’ bloodline. And, may we not forget Jesus himself, born in a manger in the middle of tiny Bethlehem, who grew up to save the entire world. God’s greatest plan began with something small.
During Jesus’ time on earth, he demonstrated the importance of “a little.” He valued the little things: hairs on our heads, birds in the air, and flowers in the field. He noticed the little things: a slight touch of his garment, a tax collector perched in a tree, and a widow and her two coins. He served in little ways: washing feet, holding children, and cooking fish. He rewarded little deeds: the woman washing his feet with her hair, the leper who said thank you, and the woman by the well who gave him something to drink. Since nothing was too insignificant for the Savior of the world, nothing is too insignificant for us.
However, our daily activities can feel meaningless, can’t they? I’ve struggled with this tension. I was born and raised in a small rural Kentucky town. After going away to college and getting married, I returned to my hometown. I briefly worked outside the home until we had our children, at which point I decided to stay home with them full time. My days revolved around diapers, bottles, and Cheerios. Even though I knew in my heart it was important work, some days it didn’t feel that way.
Both of my children are in school now, so most days I’m alone as I attend to my daily responsibilities, accompanied only by my animals. When my husband, Bryan, comes home from work and asks how my day was, I list all of the things I accomplished: today I read my Bible, made the beds, walked the dogs, wrote a devotion, recorded a podcast, went to the grocery store, paid bills, cooked dinner, washed dishes and clothes, helped with homework, took the kids to their games, etc.
When he asks, he isn’t necessarily asking what I’ve done, rather simply wondering how I am. Even knowing this, I still want the assurance I’m doing a good job. That I am significant.
The thing is, this is a daily occurrence. I lay my head down at night reflecting on what I’ve accomplished, and I wake up to my alarm and start again, back to what I perceive to be square one. Each day I have a choice. Will I begin again regardless of how small my work seems in the grand scheme of things, trusting God is growing me and using it all? Or, will I grow discouraged and be lulled to sleep by the monotony, believing it is all unimpactful and pointless?
This is your choice too. While your to-do list may look different from mine, I have a feeling our hearts are similar. We want our lives to count, but we feel minuscule, like our ordinary everyday moments will never amount to anything. We take stock of the families we were born into, the towns we grew up in, and the positions we serve in, then determine they are of little value. If we aren’t careful, we can start to believe that who we are, where we are, and what we are doing doesn’t really matter.
Our current culture exacerbates these emotions. In a society where bigger is seen as better, it’s easy to wonder if your quick prayer between errands or the short note you text a friend means anything in God’s kingdom. Contrary to how you may feel, every little thing you do can go a long way in God’s hands. We can impact others while standing in the check-out line or sitting on the game field sidelines, while walking the dog or talking to a colleague at work. Believe it or not, when you partner with God, he can use even the most minute things to affect eternity in ways beyond what you can imagine. People like you and I can accomplish great things in our everyday moments by offering all we are and all we have to God.
We are already significant, even apart from what we do. At the genesis of the world, God created us from dust (Genesis 2:7). With his breath, God brought life to something simple and small. We are God’s workmanship, masterpiece, handiwork, work of art, and poem (Ephesians 2:10) created in his image (Genesis 1:27). He breathed life into us. He is the One who turns our ordinary lives into something extraordinary.
If at times we feel down on ourselves and of little worth, we need to remember that God made us for a good reason. While we don’t want to gain our value from what we do, there is value in what we do. As unfathomable as it may seem, God wants to partner with us and has good work for us to do while we are here (Ephesians 2:10).
If you are longing for significance and questioning whether your contributions matter, I pray you understand how important what you do is, and how significant you already are. Little things aren’t little to God. In him, our lives have meaning and everything we do for him is meaningful. May we stop questioning the value of who we are and what we do, and may we accept that we are invaluable to God’s purpose for eternity–no matter how small and insignificant we may feel now.
A significant life is more simple than you think. In A Little Goes a Long Way: 52 Days to a Significant Life, Rachael Adams exemplifies this empowering truth and shares personal stories of how God values each deed, practical actions for lasting impact, and encouraging prayers that reveal how much your contributions matter.