The Potential in Small

“There’s got to be an easier way,” I said, exasperated after six phone calls and four fruitless hours hunting for resources. A typical day in the life of a hospital social worker.

I canvassed every community resource I knew to help a cancer patient pay for a piece of equipment his insurance would not cover. His family was already strapped for dollars since he missed work from the recent hospitalization.

A kernel of an idea sprang to life. If only a fund existed for such cases. mustard seed

I pitched the suggestion to the hospital administrator who won approval to seed a small pool of dollars. We crafted a brochure — sunflower yellow with summer-grass green lettering. Marketing called it gaudy, but to me it spoke Hope, Life. The Cancer Crisis Fund was born.

With the brochure and an article in the hospital newsletter, the fund took root. Some gave ten dollars. Others, twenty-five. Occasionally a contributor sent $100.

The seed grew into a seedling. The seedling into a tree where patients and families found a moment of relief while flying into storms of chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and challenging side effects. I purchased a walker for one patient, medications for another, and next month’s health care premium for a third. The Cancer Crisis Fund bridged a gap between hospitalization and discharge home where patients and families continued to wage war against disease.

redwoodWhen I left the hospital two years later, Fund had grown to $10,000. Three years later, contributions swelled the fund to a $20,000 California redwood of support and served countless patients.

My lesson …when God is in it, we can never guess — or may never see — how small ideas prompted by His Spirit grow into trees of potential.  How one word of encouragement brings a paragraph of changes to a life. How one simple deed compounds into a wealth of impact.

Consider: What small idea, action or word of encouragement have you seen grow to heights unimagined? Never underestimate what God can do with small.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches. (Matthew 13:31-32, NLT)

©2013 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.


About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
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2 Responses to The Potential in Small

  1. What a lesson in being faithful to do what He gave each of us to do. We may see a seedling, but He sees a mighty oak. Praise Him!

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