Happy Elevated Friday! Today we highlight a story of a man who through one small effort each day, has created a lasting and great legacy for his country. Jadav Payeng lives in Majuli, India, the world’s largest river island. When he was young, he watched the destruction of the forest in his land for development purposes and the resulting deaths of native species. He resolved to plant one sapling each day to combat this environmental destruction. Fast forward forty years and the once barren wasteland is now a tall and thick forest, full of natural wildlife such as elephants, Bengal tigers, rhinos, boars, deer, reptiles, and birds. Payeng has planted so many trees in his lifetime he has lost count. However, as he says, “It’s not as if I did it alone. You plant one or two trees, and they have to seed. And once they seed, the wind knows how to plant them, the birds know how to sow them, cows know, elephants know, event…the river knows. The entire ecosystem knows.” Payeng, who once was thought of as crazy by the locals, is now hailed as the “Forest Man of India,” a civilian hero, and internationally recognized conservationist.
What better metaphor for the power of sharing the gospel all the days of our lives than this? We may feel vulnerable and exposed some days in the sharing of our testimony. Other days, when tragedy strikes, we may have trouble sharing the joy of Christ because we do not feel it within us. But if we only persevere, every day of our lives just a little bit, each of us can make a world of difference. In addition, just as planted trees yield more trees through seeding, we must always remember that a newly planted heart for Christ yields more hearts for Christ beyond our reach. As it says in Galatians, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Today, resolve to make a small effort, each day, to share your faith and live it publicly. Pray for God’s hand on your life so that you may look back years from now and see the forest He has built through you.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9 ESV