From Little, Much

Little is much when God is in it.

And this great favour was also conferred by God on that man of blessed memory, that, although he lived in this small and remote island of the Britannic ocean, he merited that his name should not only be illustriously renowned throughout our Ireland, and throughout Britain...but that it should reach even as far as Spain, and Gaul, and Italy...also the Roman city itself...

  - Adomnán, Life of Columba, Irish, 8th century[1]

“His lord said to him, 'Well
done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”

  - Matthew 25.23

How much influence for good, and for the Kingdom of God, do you expect to wield?

Most of us lead fairly ordinary lives. We go to work, take care of our homes and families, enjoy a few diversions, participate in church. Everyday stuff. Nothing spectacular.

We’re not out to change the world. We’re just trying to do our jobs, take care of our business, get by.

Yet we might be surprised to learn just how much good can issue from our little lives. Remember the words of Kittie L. Suffield:

Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There’s a crown, and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.

Colum Cille (Columba) served most of his adult life on Iona, a small and isolated island to the west of Scotland, only making occasional forays to the mainland to preach the Gospel to the wild peoples there. But when he was busy on Iona – teaching, working, writing, training his followers – he stayed focused on the Lord’s calling and was faithful in every matter that came his way.

He knew that, whatever God wanted to do in and through his life, it would begin from that small, isolated chunk of wind-swept real estate.

As it turned out, Colum’s example, exertions, and exhortations became the means that launched waves of missionaries and evangelists from Iona to Europe, and built-up communities of holiness and scholarship in Iona, Ireland, and beyond.

Now we don’t expect to be the impetus for founding monasteries or churches, or for commissioning waves of missionaries into the world.

But if we are faithful in the things God gives us to do, looking to Him, honoring Him, and showing His grace and truth to those around us, there’s no telling what He might do far beyond us, both in place and time.

From the “little” of our lives, “much” good for the Kingdom can come.

Is it silly or futile to think about such things? To hope such things? I don’t think so. We should each aspire to leave a legacy of grace and truth behind us, an ever-expanding force field of Gospel power that begins in our homes, pervades our own Personal Mission Fields, and makes an impact far beyond us for many years to come.

We can’t do everything. But we can do, we must do things with a view to seeking and advancing the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Jesus, after all, is filling the world with Himself (Eph. 4.7-10). And how do we suppose He is doing that, if not through us, His people, and the ways we fulfill our relationships, roles, and responsibilities?

Jesus is filling all things in all things, flowing living waters of His Word and Spirit through the likes of ordinary folk like you and me. How can we not believe that God intends to do much in and through us? How can we not nurture an expansive vision of what God can do through us, beginning from the little Ionas which are our everyday lives?

Do you dare to think or hope as much? Are you willing to seek God for it (Eph. 3.20)?

For Reflection
1. Think through the names of the people you expect to see today. Pray for each one. And pray that God will allow you to be a vessel of His grace and truth to them all.

2. At the end of the day, review your day before the Lord in detail. Thank Him for what He has done, and for the fact that in every little thing of your life, He was in it with you.

Psalm 96.1-4, 8-10 (Mit Freuden Zart: All Praise to God, Who Reigns Above)
Sing to the Lord! O, bless His Name! All nations tell His glory!
Salvation’s tidings loud proclaim; let earth rehearse His story!
For God is greatly to be praised; His throne above all gods is raised!
Fear Him, and sing His glory!

Bring off’rings sweet to Him, our Lord, in holy garments praise Him!
Tremble before Him, all the earth; among the nations raise Him!
The earth is fixed, it will not move; the peoples will His justice prove.
Exalt the Lord and praise Him.

Lord, I offer You all my little; make much of it, I pray, as I…

Resources for Your Mission Field
Each week we offer a new “next step” for working your Personal Mission Field. Our Personal Mission Field Workshop gives you the opportunity to read or listen, and to take up one new practice a day as you launch into your calling. Check out this week’s Personal Mission Field Workshop by clicking here.

Our book, Small Stuff, shows you how God can bless our ordinary lives in extraordinary ways. Order your copy by clicking here.

You can also now listen to a weekly summary of our daily Scriptorium study, which is presently working through the book of Jeremiah. Click here to listen to Jeremiah 18-21.

A Thanksgiving Challenge
A generous friend of The Fellowship is offering a $5000 challenge gift for new donations and donations over and above regular giving. Will you join us to give thanks to God for this, and to ask Him whether you should participate in this opportunity? If the Lord moves you to give, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

T. M. Moore
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


[1] Anderson and Anderson, p. 233.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore