Francis Schaeffer penned a book by the title, No Little People.It had a great impact on my thinking years ago. Since that time I have on almost countless occasions found evidence to support his idea. God doesn’t need big people, just ones who will grow where He has planted them.
Today we had a beautiful 6-inch snow here in Central Virginia. At one point I found my mind drifting back to a story I had read years ago, about Charles Spurgeon’s conversion. The fellow who was preaching in the small Methodist chapel that night is nameless and faceless to history. But it was under his preaching that the soul of Spurgeon, the prince of 19th and 20th Century preachers was saved. Here are some excerpts from Spurgeon’s conversion story, mostly in his own words:
“I was years and years upon the brink of hell—I mean in my own feeling. I was unhappy, I was desponding, I was despairing. I dreamed of hell. My life was full of sorrow and wretchedness, believing that I was lost.”
Spurgeon used these emphatic phrases to describe his early teen years. Though raised in a Congregational home, christened as an infant, and reading the Bible and praying, Spurgeon found himself one January Sunday in 1850 with a deep sense of his need for change, for deliverance.
Because of a snowstorm, the 15-year-old’s path to church was diverted down a side street. To escape the weather, he went into the Primitive Methodist Chapel (the “primitive” Methodists were often a lively bunch, known for shouting!). A substitute lay preacher was the speaker that night and read his text—Isaiah 45:22—“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.”
Spurgeon’s Autobiography reveals his thoughts about the message:
“He had not much to say, thank God, for that compelled him to keep on repeating his text, and there was nothing needed—by me, at any rate except his text. Then, stopping, he pointed to where I was sitting under the gallery, and he said, ‘That young man there looks very miserable’, and he shouted, as I think only a Primitive Methodist can, ‘Look! Look, young man! Look now!’ Then I had this vision—not a vision to my eyes, but to my heart. I saw what a Savior Christ was. Now I can never tell you how it was, but I no sooner saw whom I was to believe than I also understood what it was to believe, and I did believe in one moment.”
“And as the snow fell on my road home from the little house of prayer I thought every snowflake talked with me and told of the pardon I had found, for I was white as the driven snow through the grace of God.”
After arriving home, his mother could immediately tell something had changed, and she exclaimed, “Something wonderful has happened to you.” Immediately after this personal conversion, Spurgeon had a new hunger for the Word of God and began to search the Scriptures “to know more fully the value of the jewel which God had given me.… I found that believers ought to be baptized.” A few months later he was baptized by immersion in the Lark River.
Do you think our Lord has lost the name of the faithful lay preacher from that little Methodist chapel?
Nor has our Lord forgotten the name of any of His obscure servants who give even a cup of water in His name. For He has said that those who serve Him even in the smallest ways will not fail to gain their reward!
Don’t take obscurity for granted. If you’ve been given the gift, embrace it. Serve the Lord gladly. There are no little people and no little places. Only little souls who are afraid to trust God.
Don’t be numbered among them.