His Wisdom for Her World

It’s Never Too Late to Make a Difference!

By on April 1, 2014 in Ministry with 3 Comments
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Dear pilgrims in the journey,

The Lord has brought to my heart a devotional thought to share. Do you, as I, often feel that whatever you do in an effort to meet the needs of your family and serve others is somehow not enough? Do you think that whatever you attempt could be done better and perhaps is being done better by another so that it hardly seems worth your effort. In fact, do you ever feel that there is really nothing of importance left for you to do?

Loving family members, creative friends, sensitive neighbors, and godly people in your congregation of believers—someone always seems to rise to the top and get the job done while you are still trying to focus on the challenge. Now that I am moving  into the fourth quarter of my life, I find that Satan uses this ploy very effectively to turn my attention more inward to my own challenges and to quench my determination to serve Christ when there are others who can “jump higher and run faster” as the expression goes.

God has given me a wonderful friend and co-laborer. We met because I had a need, and she had so impressed a mutual friend that her name came to my desk as someone I needed to meet and enlist to help in a “bucket book” project. Judy Stone was never a reluctant friend; in fact, we share the same heart for service to Christ. She quickly became a prayer warrior and encourager to me. Yet she was slow to take my challenge to this Horner Homemaking House project. I asked for her help and guidance in making the HHH yard and gardens really special. Judy did not feel qualified; yet she had already done such a project with her own property, and I believed that God was drawing me to her for this help!

Judy finally agreed to help, bringing along her own special friend to help. They surveyed what needed to be done. They developed a plan in consultation with the Southwestern Seminary landscaping department.They came and spent days on campus to oversee the task, working with the SWBTS crew to implement the design of the beautiful and productive lawn and gardens. The final result was beyond my dreams—manicured lawn, blooming and cutting gardens, useful growing herbs!

But, the partnership did not end there! Again and again Judy Stone has helped me at Southwestern—scholarships, Steinway project, Women’s Auxiliary in Fort Worth and in Austin, Widows’ Might retreats, special campus events—she is there whenever possible to stand with me and help me! The latest help came when she envisioned and helped host an event for the young people in her church so they could hear about the College at Southwestern. She connected the SWBTS professor with the youth minister of her church and even arranged pizza for the group. Although she could not be present, she had the vision, made preparations, and prayed for a wonderful event. And it happened!

Here is the point of my sharing about my friend. Just as Mary of Bethany in Scripture: She did what she could! Then our Lord took her kingdom investment in her own church and in the College at Southwestern and multiplied it to touch the lives of young people and to help share the opportunities for study at Southwestern. What appeared to her to be so little became a channel through which Godworked. Only He knows how many lives will be touched in the next generation and beyond. And her faithfulness has energized and challenged me to move forward as the Lord opens doors to me—not whining about what I cannot do or did not do to meet my expectations but praising the Lord for the opportunity to do even the smallest thing in His name. May the Lord say of me, as my friend Judy: She did what she could (Mk 14:8).

What can you do in the midst of a busy schedule, despite personal physical challenges, without a widespread base of influence, in the shadow of feeling inadequate in creativity and energy—perhaps even in great need of help yourself?

  • Look inward and pray—ask the Lord to put a challenge before you! He has promised never to give us more than we can handle (Ps18:29,33-36; 37:4-5); He has committed to go before and prepare, to walk alongside to encourage (Ps 23:4), and to be a rear guard to cover anything we do not finish and to protect us as we complete a difficult task (Is 43:1-2). Remember that what He asks you to do may be simple and seemingly unimportant or complex and beyond your skills and experience; yet what God assigns is His design—sometimes a small but essential piece in His kingdom plan and even occasionally exceeding our own dreams and goals.
  • Look outward and do—begin where you are and do the next thing before you. Never try to weigh the importance of a task assigned to you with what is directed to others (2 Cor 10:12). God’s timing is just right; His stewardship is perfect—nothing wasted and all for His glory; His commitment to you is immutable, not dependent upon giftedness or season of life or circumstances but guiding you through all to be your best when you allow Him to do that!
  • Look upward and be steadfast in these commitments whatever may come, and God will then fill you with His Spirit just as a hand slips into a glove and directs its movements (Prov 3:5-6).

Mary of Bethany did what she could; Judy Stone did what she could. Would you join me in this challenge? God grant that every woman committed to Christ would receive that commendation from the Savior: She did what she could!

 

Devotedly yours,

Dottie

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About the Author

About the Author: Dorothy Kelley Patterson serves as the First Lady and Professor of Theology in Women's Studies at Southwestern Seminary. She has authored numerous books and articles including, Where’s Mom: The High Calling of Wives and Mothers, and A Woman Seeking God: Discover God in the Places of Your Life. One of Mrs. Patterson's greatest joys is hospitality! She loves to cook and is known for her family’s famous “Kelley biscuits.” *"Dear Dottie" is a featured, monthly column from Dorothy Kelley Patterson (aka - Dottie!). If you have a question for Dottie, please email us at biblicalwoman@swbts.edu! .

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  1. Lenora Sikes says:

    The message in this devotional you shared is exactly what God has taught me over the years of service to him… and what I try to pass on to those around me at home, at church and any where else where God calls upon me to serve. And now as a member in a very small Church body that HAS BEEN NEGLECTED the ability to see oneself as useful and able to make a difference right where I am (we are,) with what I (we) have is so difficult. Even for me….not to mention our Pastor, and the rest of the membership…even I needed a refresher a reminder that… this is all God asks of us…to be willing, to work with what we have, with a thankful heart focusing on accomplishing his Good Will for His pleasure and letting him do his part . Filling in the gaps and making up for what we don”t have. Providing what is NEEDED, not what we want. Sometimes it is making something out nothing, sometimes it is showing us we don”t need what we don”t have for his grace Is sufficient for us. And that we are already fully equipped for the work given to us even if we don”t think so. He asks of us only for a willing spirit, heart, mind and eagerness to put all our might/strength into what ever he calls us to do. Thank you for your reminder. Pray that God will help me to be a living and encouraging example of this truth….Lenora

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