November 2018

Even After You Quit

Dr. Rikki Permenter, Ph.D., Th. M.

So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but is shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 

Isaiah 55:11

One night this week our little weenie dog woke me up in the middle of the night and needed to go outside. She was standing on my chest pawing me like she was Lassie telling me little Timmy was in the well. I got up and walked to the back door and flipped on the outside lights and opened the door to let her out. I looked up through the back door windows and saw a whole deer family in our garden. I don’t know if I’ve updated you guys on the disaster that is our garden right now but it is done producing for the season and weeds have overtaken it. We kinda quit on it after we harvested the last of our jalapeños a few weeks back. 

The next morning while I was drinking my coffee God had me thinking about how sometimes He uses our efforts even when we have quit putting forth the effort, even when we have deemed it a failure, even when we think its past the point of being usable, and even when we don’t realize it. That whole deer family (mom, dad, a teenager looking deer, and two little babies) were all benefitting from something my husband did months and months ago that he had even quit thinking about. They benefitted in the middle of the night - when we were (supposed to be) sleeping and without our knowledge. 

How many times has God given you a ministry or project to do that you have deemed a failure? How many times have you seen something and thought that there was no way God could use this or anyone could benefit from it? You never truly see the full impact of your kingdom work. Sometimes people benefit from your efforts in the metaphorical middle of the night when you’re sleeping and you are totally unaware that anyone is even thinking about or still aware of all your hard work. Sometimes the people who benefit the most from your hard work aren’t even the people you intended to benefit at all. Keep this in mind when you get discouraged about kingdom work. Think bigger than your ideas and plans. His Word never comes back void. 

This article can be found in print in the monthly Baptist Association of Southeast Louisiana newsletter.