As a young college student, I took pleasure in stumping people with paradoxes. I’d pose questions like, “Is change always constant?” Or, “How round is the color blue?” Or, “If you time-traveled and meddled with your own past, would you even exist to time-travel in the first place?”
A New Paradox
Little did I know that God had a better question, “Should I even bother with this poor, unsaved college student who is wasting his mental energies?” Thankfully, the answer was “yes.” God sent an ordinary person to be a friend, who patiently and persistently invited me to church.
When I finally attended, I heard about the Savior who loved me, died on a cross for my sins, and rose from the dead. Now maybe that’s a paradox, that God visits secular universities. And mine was called a “party school.” Yet God saved me and taught me… He can rescue anyone from anywhere.
The Paradox of the Christian Life
But the paradox of the Christian life didn’t end there. I received a Bible, with a challenge to read through it in a year, which is basically three chapters a day. So I did it, and I bumped into more paradoxes: The way to gain your life is to lose it for Christ. The way to receive is by giving. Exaltation comes through humility. Greatness comes by serving. A broken heart brings knowledge of God’s comfort. Weakness and dependency upon Christ can actually be strength. You can have nothing, and yet possess real riches. And that suffering forms the pathway to glory.
The Paradox of Village Missions
Now those are worthy paradoxes to ponder. And they take a lifetime to learn and apply. But God opened my eyes to another paradox through Village Missions. Village Missions’ specialty is keeping country churches alive. So the fields are rural, and typically small, but the impact is massive.
A teen is touched by someone in the church and decides not to commit suicide. A marriage on the brink of divorce is restored to health. A drug dealer forsakes his selling and takes up legitimate work. And scores of folks make salvation decisions each year. It’s just another paradox because those things will never make television news, but they are big news in heaven.
Each day, God does great things in the paradox. And I’ve seen that the biggest blessings often come through the little church. In the little church I’ve gained my best friends. It’s in the little church where I’ve seen new believers volunteer to serve and then grow by leaps and bounds. It’s in the little church where I’ve seen people come with their sin and then get right with the Lord.
So to sum it up, in the little church you know folks well, and can watch them change into Christ-likeness. Yes, praise God for the big blessing of the little church. And may He grant us more of His wonderful paradoxes.
Robert and Stephanie Melotti joined Village Missions in 2001, and still serve on their first field at Tonto Basin Bible Church, in Arizona. This December, Robert and Stephanie will celebrate 19 years of marriage. In 2010, they adopted their daughter Annelise at birth. The Melotti’s enjoy reading, taking road trips, and impacting lives for Christ.