The Power of One

I recently read a very interesting book by Billy Wilson entitled, “The Power of One”. It is filled with examples from the Scriptures that show how one individual made a life-changing decision or experienced an event that had far-reaching consequences.

One of those people is someone I’ve often wondered about: the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. Jesus walked straight through a crowd of people needing healing – in fact, that’s why they were waiting by the pool. He walked straight to this man who had been there waiting for 38  years to be healed. When Jesus asked if he wanted to be healed, the man responded (like many of us do) with an excuse for why he had been there so long – he had no one to carry him to the pool. Jesus reached down, touched him, healed him, and walked out of the area straight through the clamoring crowd again. By that time, everyone who saw the miracle would have been shouting and grasping at him for their own healing! But He had eyes for only one man that day: a man with bound up potential.

Another beautiful example is that of the Samaritan woman at the well with whom Jesus spoke. He sent His disciples into town, headed to the well and asked her for a drink of water. It almost seems as though he arranged the entire detour through Samaria in order to reach this “one”. Most of us know the rest of the story: He told her things about her life that no one could have known. He touched and healed her heart in such a way that she believed in Him, rushed back to the city, and told everyone she met that she had found the Messiah! As a result, the whole town believed!

One of the most significant, but little recognized, “ones” in the New Testament is Barnabas. Meet the  man who convinced the Early Church to accept Paul into fellowship after his conversion in Damascus! What were the amazing results of that “one” who determined to befriend Saul turned Paul? Perhaps if there had been no Barnabas, Paul would not have written his 13 Pauline Epistles (New Testament letters to the churches). Would he have even been accepted into the fellowship of Believers? How many churches throughout Asia Minor would not have been planted? And how many millions of souls throughout history since then would have been lost without his words and teaching? The “one” was significant.

Throughout the Scriptures, we see example after example of the “one”, especially in the life and ministry of Jesus. He longs to show us that we are known, that we are seen, and that we are loved. By taking time to care for the “one”, Jesus unlocked potential that reached the multitudes around them.

Many times widows are at a place in life where they simply feel insignificant. So much has changed about their life that they barely recognize themselves anymore. They struggle to find purpose, as many have found their primary identity and purpose in serving and caring for their husband and family. Without a higher purpose and a deeper identity, they grapple with the question of whether they have any significant part to play in the greater scheme of things.

My husband had an entire library in his head of what we call “one-liners”…little phrases he used to make a point. One of those applies well here, as we recently experienced it in real life here in Nebraska! He used to say, “One little snowflake isn’t much, but when they all decide to cooperate, they can shut down an interstate!” Many microscopic snowflakes gathered together with one purpose can form a blizzard!

Jesus said the same is true of one little mustard seed that goes into the ground and grows into a huge tree giving shelter to the birds and shade to the people. We all know that a mighty oak tree grows from a little acorn!

As we think about this today, I’d like to suggest to you that you are powerful. You are significant! There is great Power in the One. You may be the “one” God uses to speak a word of encouragement to someone at the lowest point in their life. Or maybe you’re the children’s worker that teaches a small child about Jesus – and his potential is unlocked. Maybe you’re the mom, grandma, and great-grandma with 95 people in your extended family that you pray for every single day. All that to say, only God knows what potential is waiting to be unlocked in your life. You may be the ”one” that God will use for His special purposes.

You may only be a tiny snowflake, but join together with many others, and you can create a blizzard!

As always your comments and thoughts are welcome here, or you can email me at One final parting thought, if you are struggling with your purpose, or with all that’s changed since you became a widow, consider joining one of our Refocusing Widows groups and walk out that process with others experiencing the very same things! Three new groups are starting: one in Valley, NE; one in Kearney, NE; and one on zoom led by Kim in Colorado Springs. We look forward to meeting you!


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