An Astronaut's Perspective
Read: 1 Samuel 30:1-25; Psalm 62:12
This week, Michael Collins, one of the three astronauts of Apollo 11 fame, passed away at the age of 90. He was the one who circled the moon in the command module, while Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, in the lunar module, landed on the moon. Collins was frequently asked if he felt lonely, especially while his two fellow space travelers were spending in excess of 21 hours on the lunar surface. He joked that he had a colony of white mice for company and that it was peaceful in his cozy little home in the command module. When asked about his view of the moon, Collins said that our earth was the main show. He often described both its beauty and how fragile it looked. The blue of the ocean and the white of the clouds against a black velvet background. Michael Collins was accustomed to having been the lesser known of the Apollo 11 astronauts, having never walked on the moon. In spite of that reality, he stated in a Newsweek article that "he was happy with the seat he had and that he was proud to have been a part of Apollo 11."
As I read about this lesser-known astronaut, I couldn't help thinking about the countless number of believers who work for Jesus in ways that are also lesser known than those who travel to faraway places or share the Good News with thousands. It is easy to think that what is done, often in obscurity, makes little difference. Let's take a small glimpse into David's life for some encouragement for those of us who have lesser-known names.
In 1 Samuel 30:1-25, we encounter David in less than an enviable circumstance. The events chronicled in this chapter took place prior to David's coronation. These circumstances occurred while he was fleeing from King Saul who wanted to kill him even though Samuel had already anointed him as king, 1Samuel 16:1-14. David and his men lived at Ziklag, and when they returned home, they found the city had been burned and their loved ones had been taken captive by the Amalekites. Talk about misery. David's men were so distraught that they spoke of stoning him. Yet, David knew to Whom he should run, and after asking for the Lord's wisdom, he and 400 of his men went to battle against the Amalekites. God gave them victory as He had promised, and they brought back not only all their wives and children but also a great deal of animals and goods that had belonged to the Amalekites. When the victors rejoined 200 of their men who had been too worn out to go with them into battle, there were some who did not want any of the booty to be shared with those who had not gone with them. David put an end to that. All would share in the goods equally. The ones who had guarded the baggage and the ones who had gone out to battle. Each would share in the reward.
Many know the name David Wilkerson who fearlessly shared Jesus in many ways and in many places. In an article, he spoke about his wife Gwen and her mother, Grandma Carosso. Wilkerson knew the same thing that the king elect, David knew. It is not only those who serve on the front lines where all can see them who will share in the rewards of victory. No, there are many unseen warriors whose labor goes pretty much unnoticed on the earth who will also be rewarded by the Lord. First, concerning Grandma Carosso who prayed daily for David Wilkerson. She never traveled to the far off lands where he served, but her prayers on his behalf were offered. In addition to this, after her death, countless bank books were discovered that spoke the truth of Grandma's life. Besides her prayers, she regularly gave small amounts to missionaries. Though she was never known all over the world, Wilkerson spoke the biblical truth about her. She would share in the fruits and reward that he would receive because she had sown seeds into not only his ministry but also the ministries of many other faithful servants.
In that same article, Wilkerson spoke of his wife, Gwen. While he went all over the world, Gwen was at home faithfully serving her family. Although she sometimes believed that she didn't do much of anything for the Lord, David Wilkerson said she too would share in the rewards he received because of her faithfulness to what God had called her to do. It was Gwen's steadfast work at home that made it possible for David Wilkerson to fulfill God's call in his life.
In 1Corinthians 3:5-14, we are reminded that it is not who we are that is important. Serving God is all about being faithful to Jesus and making Him known. He sees what we do, whether the service is out front or behind the scenes, and He knows the motives behind what we do. Won't it be amazing on the day when Jesus rewards His own to see the many Grandma Carossos and enjoy it when Jesus tells both them and us "well done." On that day, all of the honor will be reflected back to Jesus Who not only saved us who were dead in sin, Ephesians 2:1-9 but Who also enabled and equipped us so we could serve Him, Ephesians 2:10.
Lord, Thank You for seating us in heavenly places, Ephesians 2:6. We are proud to be in Your family. To God Be The Glory, Great Things He has Done!