By Rachel Stewart
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32
I was listening to a message called “Little and Large” by Ken Costa, chairman of Alpha International, and author of the book “God at Work.” He shared how God can do big things with the little things we do for Him. He shared a wonderful story about a man who did something small, but God used him to make a HUGE difference in many lives. This story really blessed me and I want to share it with you.
A man gave his testimony at a little church in England. He said he had been on George Street, which is part of the business district in Sydney, Australia. It’s a pretty rough area. While walking down the road, he came across a little old man with white hair who came up to him and asked, “If you died tonight, do you know that you will be saved?” And then the little man handed him a pamphlet. He said he got irritated with the old man, but on the long flight home from Sydney to London, he couldn’t get what the man said out of his mind. So he asked a friend about it, and his friend told him what he needed to do to be saved. So the man committed his life to Christ and was saved.
Soon after that, the pastor of that little church went to Adelaide. While there, he was talking to two women, and he asked them how they came to know the Lord. They said that they were walking down George Street in Sydney, Australia, and a little man with white hair came up to them and asked them if they were to die that night, did they know they would be saved? He gave them a pamphlet. The ladies later gave their hearts to the Lord.
The pastor then went to Pirth where he attended a business conference. There he met a businessman who was very wealthy. He asked him how he came to faith, and he said, “Oh, I was in Sydney walking down George Street, and this really irritating old man with white hair walked up to me and asked, ‘If you died tonight, are you sure you are going to be saved?’ I told him it was none of his business. Then he gave me a booklet. I took the booklet and stuffed it in my pocket. It worried me the whole way to Pirth. That’s when I realized that it was the Lord speaking to me. So I gave my life to Jesus Christ.”
Later the pastor went to a convention in England. He met three people there and asked them how they were converted. They said they went to Sydney and were walking down George Street, and a little old man…(You know the story.)
He went to the Caribbean and met three missionaries there. He asked them how they were converted. They said they were walking down George Street in Sydney one day…(And you know the rest.)
He went to Atlanta, Georgia where he met the chief chaplain of the U.S. Navy. This chaplain was in charge of 10,000 other chaplains. He asked him how he had come to faith. He said, “I was drunk on a ship. I got off in Sydney. I was walking down George Street. I got on the wrong bus. I got off at the wrong place and I met this little old man. We walked around. He asked me if I was saved and gave me a pamphlet. And so I turned my life around and gave it to God.”
He went to a conference in India with 5,000 Indian missionaries. There was a Hindu man in charge, and he asked him how he had come to faith. He said, “I was a diplomat in Sydney. I was walking down George Street and an old man came up to me…”
Eventually the pastor went to Sydney to find the little old man who lived on George Street. When he found him, he was very old and frail. The pastor asked him how he came to faith in Jesus Christ. And he said, “I was on a ship, and a man asked me if I died that night would I know I would be saved. And I realized I didn’t and I wanted to be saved. So I gave my life to the Lord. And I promised from that day on that I would speak to ten people about Jesus Christ every day of my life.”
It was calculated that the little old man spoke to 146,100 people over a 40 year period. During that 40-year period, not once did anybody come back to him and tell him the effect that his words had in their lives. Throughout the globe, hundreds of thousands of people: pastors, missionaries, diplomats, businessmen had come to know the Lord because of this one man. Two weeks later, after the pastor went to visit him, the little old man died.
How sweet that the Lord let him know how great his impact had been before he died.
One man did a small thing for God, but it made a HUGE difference.
Don’t underestimate the little things.