Rembrandt, “The Risen Christ Appears to the Magdalen”
The Kingdom of God is not a wsiwyg (“What you see is what you get”) operation. The size of the seed does not determine the degree of impact on the garden. How does a seed become a plant anyway? Talk about a mystery of natural selection! For that matter, how does a simple commitment of the will to acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord lead to transformed individuals who when they band together, even in groups as small as 12, can turn the world upside down?
Yet I’ve seen this dynamic at work over and over again in ministry. You think you are making no impact. You think the people you are trying to reach are absolute buffoons. You start to think you yourself must be the biggest buffoon. But then something surprising happens. The guy you discipled who couldn’t stay awake goes on to impact many other students before becoming a PHD in church history. The young woman who faded away from your housechurch comes back one day and says, “I left, but I got so depressed that I realized if I didn’t go back, I was going to die, and I’m never leaving again.” The national leader who betrayed you comes back in tears saying, “Now I understand. What I did was terribly wrong. Would you please forgive me?”
It doesn’t all make sense when you first hear it, but get some private time with Jesus and he may just explain everything.