When People’s Needs Seem Too Big

Overwhelmed by how needy the world is? I know I am.

97% of people in the UK aren’t followers of Jesus and need to turn to him. Jesus has compassion on a large crowd because they’re like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34).

He tells his followers that the harvest is bursting and sends us out (Matthew 9:37).

And what about the homeless this winter? How do we help those in debt? The many young people facing mental health issues? Or the elderly who need caring for?

Again, Jesus identifies with the needy and tells us to care for them. That to care for the homeless, indebted or sick person is to care for him (Matthew 25:37-40).

Put the amount of needs next to our smallness, and Jesus’ call seems impossible.

Small steps

We can’t possibly meet everyone’s needs on our own. We’re too small, weak and sinful. But we also can’t pretend the needs don’t exist. We’re called to be active.

So we only have one option: in humility, we take small, active steps in faith.

We pray for a handful of people, meet regularly with someone to look at God’s word, take a bag of food to a food bank or volunteer to help a local mission.

We befriend someone who’s different to us. We sit and chat with the older person for a few hours. We bring up Jesus with a colleague.

We take small steps.

Big change

When our steps are small, we act in humility and not in our own ability. And with each step people’s needs are met.

And when all God’s people take these small steps, more needs are met. Many small steps can lead to big change.

No person gets glory for small steps. But God is glorified when they bring big change. And this seems to fit the way he’s always worked.