While visiting with my three grown daughters, ages 16, 18, and 19, my mind reflected back on precious toddler times. I remembered the daily tea parties and reports of adventures while dad was at work. I recalled the night-time books Belinda and I read, to the point of memorization.
One such book was Stone Soup. It was the story of hungry soldiers passing through a small village. Realizing the village people were claiming to have no food for them, the soldiers exclaimed, "Great, we'll have 'stone soup." They built a fire under a large kettle of water and ceremoniously brought the special stone to the spot of the anticipated feast.
As the villagers looked on, the soldiers spoke of their excitement over the luscious, flavorful delight the stone would soon make. Then someone said, "This is going to be wonderful soup, but wouldn't it be even better if we just had a few potatoes to add flavor?" Suddenly a villager said, "I believe I have a few potatoes." And so on it went, until the stone soup was filled with every imaginable vegetable and meat. When the story ended the soldiers and villagers had had great nourishment and fellowship, eating the jointly supplied "stone soup."
I thank God He has called me to be a Southern Baptist. Working together we share our small amounts to corporately become much in our effort to fulfill His will and commission to reach the lost with the loving, life-changing gospel of Jesus. Like those in the story though, it is easy to think your small amount will make little difference in our total missionary trust. It's easy to place our own needs and desires ahead of the call of God to reach a needy world.
How then can we see the big picture of our role in the Great Commission? I believe our example for giving is seen in the churches of Macedonia, in II Corinthians 8:2-5, "that in a great ordeal of affliction, their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberty. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God."
If we will each practice this model, we can give of and beyond our ability, and experience the nourishment and fellowship of our Lord.