My husband, daughter, and I went out to eat at a local restaurant where it was noisy with lots of conversation and laughter. Our food was served and we held hands to give thanks to our heavenly Father who richly provides for our every need. We finished saying, “REJOICE” in unison as a family walked past our table to leave. The smiling man looked at the three of us and said, “Hail, Santa Claus.” It happened so suddenly and he left so fast we didn’t even have a chance to respond.
We looked at each other, and our daughter said what we were all thinking, “What does that even mean?” Obviously he didn’t like our rejoicing in Jesus but really? Hail Santa Claus? Perhaps we just don’t know some “new” slogan out there or it is some “new” mockery against Christianity. I don’t really know! On the outside I smiled but on the inside I cried. It broke my heart. I have no condemnation for this man. I would never point my finger at him or tell him how terrible he is. I am not angry. I know he doesn’t know any better and he is just acting according to his nature. It shouldn’t surprise us. He just doesn’t believe in this wonderful God we happen to know and be in relationship with. It is a sign of the times, evidence of a godless nation. In my brokenness, I thanked God for our freedom in this land TO pray and believed we planted a seed in this man’s life, even though he is unaware of it being planted.
The next morning Holy Spirit tied this experience with a quote I read about how the hearts of Christians should break because our presence is not making a more significant difference in our land. I have to tell you, THAT is another kind of statement I ask, “What does that even mean?” Certainly, it is tragic for Christians to remain silent, to refuse to be witnesses for Jesus, to condemn people in the world, or not to honor God in everything we say and do. However, to suggest our hearts should break because “our presence” is not making a more significant difference in our land is heartbreaking.
We don’t look at society to see if “our presence” makes a difference! See, we are the very presence of Jesus everywhere we go. I’ve got to tell you friends, HE MAKES A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE every day in every way! We look to Jesus and let His presence MAKE all the difference in us. It doesn’t break my heart thinking “I” don’t make a difference. It breaks my heart when others don’t receive the difference He makes in us!
The Word of God tells us exactly what our presence will do in this world – and it isn’t about making a more significant difference. It is about His fragrance! 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life…”
We CANNOT know how little or how much significant difference we make in this world by looking AT the world! We CAN know it though by the fragrance GOD emits through us! He does the work. We are the diffusers! The power is in Him and we are His conduit! Everywhere we go we are TO GOD the fragrance of His Son. He diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge everywhere we go. Some people will smell it and receive life while others will smell only the aroma of death.
Certainly it hurts to know some smell death when His fragrance is diffused. But somehow, knowing it is not my job to make a significant difference by looking at how little or how much difference I SEEM to make, takes the pressure off and I can simply let God diffuse the fragrance of His knowledge through me, knowing I don’t need to “see” the difference, just “be” His difference.
When my husband, daughter, and I demonstrated our PDA, our public display of affection for Jesus, something significant happened in our lives and I can tell you it wasn’t because WE made a difference but because His fragrance was diffused which makes ALL the difference in the world. AND, I’m believing something significant happened to the man who said “Hail Santa Claus” as well. It might not be a difference WE saw, and it might not be the difference we would like to see BUT, when Jesus is diffused, when His knowledge is released, He makes a difference.