From time to time I receive boxes delivered to my home. My name is on the box along with the sender’s, but other than that, the box looks like just an ordinary box. What makes each box special, however, is not what is on the outside but what is on the inside. This is what ministry is all about— carefully opening and nurturing the lives of those around us.
This is no easy challenge. During the past several years I have grown concerned once I realized that many “boxes have not been opened.” The treasure on the inside was not being appreciated because it is not always easy to get past what we can see on the outside. The vast worth and potential of the individual is seemingly overlooked. Such is the case of the deaf. Such is the test of our own character.
“I saw that it is in the providence of God that widows and orphans, the blind, the deaf, the lame, and persons afflicted in a variety of ways, have been placed in close Christian relationship to His church; it is to prove His people and develop their true character. Angels of God are watching to see how we treat these persons who need our sympathy, love, and disinterested benevolence. This is God’s test of our character.”*
Revival and mission, regardless of the outside appearance, begins wherever we are.
—Larry Evans, associate director, General Conference Stewardship Ministry, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States. * Ellen G. White, Christian Service (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1947), 191, 192
* Ellen G. White, Christian Service (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1947), 191, 192.