Pastor's Pondering


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The Power of One Life

by Duane Mabee on December 12, 2019
It was a privilege this week to take part in a memorial service honoring Rev. Clinton Padgett.  Clinton, along with his wife, Bobbie, served for many years as a missionary and a pastor, often working in underappreciated roles.  He was one of those unsung heroes.  It was good to hear stories of his faithfulness and his impact in the lives of so many others. 


One story stood out to me.  It spoke of the power of one life.  Apparently, Clinton’s ministry in Costa Rica wasn’t always easy and didn’t appear to yield a lot of visible fruit – you know, the flashy stuff we like to put in newsletters and reports back to our superiors.  One family, however, came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior through Clinton’s witness.  After Clinton became ill, a member of that family got in contact with one of Clinton’s sons.  He wanted to express his appreciation for the fact that Clinton led his family to the Lord.  “And, tell your father,” he said, “that because of his ministry, we have over 3,000 believers, and several us of have become pastors.”  The power of one life even though no one, including Clinton, may have seen the impact at the time. 


I also spoke to a long-time missionary who served with the Padgett’s in Costa Rica.  Between her stories and others, a picture immerged of a man who had remained faithful in spite of difficulties and what appeared to be a lack of results.  I also heard about him encouraging others to remain faithful in similar circumstances.  The power of one life.  Don’t you wonder how many other people have been impacted by his faithful ministry and the ministry of those he encouraged to stay in the game when they felt like quitting?  I’m sure we haven’t seen all the results yet. 


Believer, there are two powerful ways you can make an impact beyond what you can see today.  First, keep faithfully doing what God has called you to do whether anyone else ever notices or appreciates it.  Keep doing it to the best of your ability even if no one wants to read the reports of the results you’ve achieved.  The final report hasn’t been written yet.  The results aren’t all in.  Plus, their evaluation isn’t the one that matters. 


Second, encourage others to keep faithfully doing what God has called them to do.  There will be many who will criticize, correct and discourage them, which might succeed in causing them to quit.  Your encouragement may be the one thing God uses to keep them going so that they reach that one family who will multiply the impact into 3,000 believers and several pastors.  Never underestimate the power of faithfulness and encouragement.  Never underestimate the power of one life.