God in his mercy offers us opportunities for service that are best suited to the talents that he has given to us. We are called by God to develop our abilities and natural talents, and to use them appropriately, no matter how insignificant they might seem. If God then chooses to promote us to greater responsibilities, He will do so in His own way and time.
One of the great scientists of our history was George Washington Carver. He once confided that as a young man it was his ambition to understand the principles that guided the universe. As he grew older, however, he came to understand that the task he had set for himself was beyond his abilities and, in fact, belonged to God alone. So he set about the task of studying what was one of the lowliest and least significant of God’s creations – the peanut. After a life-time of study, Carver had either discovered or developed more than 300 useful products that could be made from that tiny bit of God’s world. In the process he transformed the peanut into a significant agricultural product and created many new industries.
There is nothing wrong with thinking big and aspiring to do something important and lasting. But as Christians, we need to be mindful that all of our goals and plans must be laid at the altar of God, and all of our aspirations must be motivated by a desire to do the will of the Lord. In this offering of obedience, we must count it an equal honor to start at the bottom, with little things, if that is His plan for us. We must be mindful that in God’s service, promotions to greater usefulness are given to those who are faithful in little things, and are willing to start with “peanuts”. In the parable of the gold coins, the faithful servant is told by Jesus, “Since you were faithful in small matters, I will put you in charge of ten cities.” (Lk. 19:17). It is a big thing to do something small, if you take care to do it well, and consecrate it to God.