An Act of Faith

On January 11, 1992 an eighth grade student from Japan dropped a bottle in the Pacific Ocean. The bottle contained a note with the student’s contact information and a request to be notified if the bottle were recovered.
From the waters just south of Okinawa this message floated until, twelve years later, it washed up on Hanauma Bay in Hawaii.
The glass bottle, covered in algae, contained the age-brittled note written by a child who is now an adult. The student who wrote the message years ago can now only imagine the details of the bottle’s voyage, surrounded by the power and beauty of the vast expanse of water. Certainly, when he placed the message in the water, he could have neither known how far it would go nor how long it would take to find its way home.
In many ways this Japanese youth’s experience illustrates the truth of Ecclesiastes 11:1, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.”
God calls us, day by day, to reach out in faith. We do the Lord’s work never knowing the certain outcome of our effort. The time spent teaching a Bible class, visiting a shut-in, or making a visitor feel welcome is an investment in the future. We do God’s work in faith, often not seeing the results until long after ? if ever.
We live in an impatient age which looks for immediate results. The work of the church, in contrast, builds over time. Committing ourselves to faithful service we can be sure that, in the appropriate time, God will bless our efforts.

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Greg Tidwell

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