“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” (Luke 16:10, NLT)
After I completed my first year at the missions and discipleship school, I returned for a second year. All the seniors who returned had to volunteer at a school for disabled children in the mornings and do classes in the afternoons. While many of the students helped teachers with entire classes, I was allocated to tutor a Grade 2 boy who had autism. His name was Joshua. I walked into the classroom on my first day, full of excitement and hope for the new year and what God had in store for me. However, I really was not prepared for what I was about to encounter.
I sat next to Joshua and tried to help him where I could, but he did not take very well to me – like many children with autism. My first day was filled with shouts of “I HATE YOU!” “YOU ARE NOT MY TEACHER!” and “NEVER COME BACK!”, not to mention all the bite marks on my arm. When the day was done, I ran to my room and just cried. “Lord, why?” was all that I could say through the heartache and tears. I realised that without God, I was NOT going to make it through the year.
Every morning before I walked into the classroom, I would pray for Joshua and for strength. Each day became easier and easier. I started to love Joshua with all my heart and my time with him became the greatest blessing I could ever have asked for.
Every day after school, when Joshua’s father picked him up, he would ask me: “How was your day with Joshua and is everything okay?” Every day, my reply would be the same: “We had a great day!” One day, he stopped me in my tracks and said: “I know what it is like to work with Joshua. How are you always so happy when I fetch him?” Without hesitation, I replied, “This is where God wants me to be, and the good times with Joshua far outweigh the bad times.”
Every day after that, without fail, Joshua’s father would ask me questions about God and faith. We would have long discussions and chat. Soon after, Joshua’s father and family came to know the Lord. “Joshua” means “salvation”, and through Joshua’s autism, his family was saved.
All I did was be faithful where God had placed me, even though it was difficult and even though I didn’t understand the bigger picture of what He was doing. Where has God placed you now? Are you faithful with the little He has given you? He wants to use you in a mighty way… for now, we see but a glimpse… but He sees the whole picture.