Recently my church hosted a book sale to benefit our women’s ministry and our local pregnancy center. We collected hundreds of books and spent weeks of countless hours organizing, storing, preparing, and setting up. Everyone was excited about the sale, and about the chance to donate their books to a good cause.
The day of the sale finally arrived – we were ready!
The sale lasted 4 hours, during which we had 8 customers (not including the workers).
By all accounts, the sale was a complete failure. We hoped for a few thousand dollars, we ended up with far less than that. And all the remaining books now had to go somewhere!
Thankfully God doesn’t measure success like we do: by the outcome and our expectations. He doesn’t measure outcome at all – that’s HIS responsibility – He looks at our obedience. He tells us to step out in faith to what we believe He said and leave all outcomes to Him. We could lament over things we could have done differently or what didn’t happen, but then we miss out on what God is doing TODAY, right now.
So we’ll focus on the positive. Here are just a few of the blessings from our efforts.
- Children’s books were donated to the local school libraries. When I dropped some off, the woman who received them was SO thankful for them…and for how they were so well organized.
- Everyone who signed up to volunteer worked hard, remained cheerful, and did whatever was needed. We couldn’t have asked for better help!
- We have books left to support another church event happening in November.
- Workers had time to chat with and encourage each other. I met some wonderful people!
- A little girl came looking for a new Bible. Her whole face lit up when she found one.
Who knows what other blessings will follow!
God does, we don’t need to.
As the song says,
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (Proverbs 3:5)
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)