While in Cambodia, I was reminded of the impact this country and its people can have on you. There is such great need everywhere you look. The needs can be overwhelming. However, I have to constantly remind myself that while we can’t help everyone, we can help some. So we do.
There’s a story told of a boy who is walking along a beach where thousands of starfish have washed up and are dying. The boy is picking up starfish and throwing them back in the ocean to save their lives. Someone comes to the boy and questions why he is even trying, he can’t come close to making a difference and saving all the starfish. The boy picks up a starfish and says, “I’m making a huge difference for this one” and he throws the starfish back in the ocean.
That story is most often told to show the impact of making a difference for just one life. But I think a better application for that story may be to ask – why are more people not out on that beach helping the boy to throw the starfish back in the ocean?
I’ve been wrestling with God a bit. . . He has been asking me what I am clinging to that is preventing me from fully giving myself to Him. What am I clinging to that is preventing me from being on that beach and fully devoting myself to throwing back those starfish? Philippians 2:6 tells me that Jesus did not cling to His equality with God but rather emptied himself and became a servant of all. I’m confident that the things I’m clinging to (pride, comfort, fear, etc.) pale in comparison to equality with God. Yet why do I seem cling so tightly?!?
I know I need to be on that beach fully engaged in ‘throwing back those starfish’ that God has called me to serve. How about you?
by Nathan Cecil, written January 2012
photo by Alex Overhiser, March 2012