I am reading an abridged version of Hanna Whitall Smith’s The Christian Secret of a Happy Life. Her advice in her chapter, “Service”, is very encouraging.
If you think you have to meet every need and help in every ministry opportunity, or you are unsure about what directions to take in ministry, she advises:
“The life of trust also delivers us by reminding us no individual is responsible for all the work in the world, only for a small share. I may have five, or two, or only one talent. I am to do that which I am called to do, nothing more.
“A young Christian, sent to speak a message to one soul she met on a walk, supposed she must speak to everyone she met while walking, a perpetual obligation and an impossible task. A friend told her to put herself under the Lord’s guidance and trust Him to point out each particular person to whom He would have her speak. He assured her He never puts forth His sheep without going before them… This freed her from bondage, and she was able to do much blessed work for her Master without worry or care.”
If you trust God to use you in others’ lives, but you find yourself taking credit for the ministry God does through you, or you blame yourself for mistakes, such as not speaking up, or saying the “wrong thing” when witnessing, Mrs. Smith assures us that the work is God’s, not ours:
“Years ago, I ran across this sentence in an old book: ‘Never indulge, at the close of an action, in . . . self-congratulation or self-despair. Forget the things that are behind, the moment they are past, leaving them with God.’ To sum it all up, put your work into the Lord’s hands and leave it there. Even in the midst of a life of ceaseless activity, you shall ‘find rest to your soul’ and be an ‘instrument of righteousness.’”