In Colossians 4:7-8 and elsewhere, the Apostle Paul takes the time to detail the names of some of the otherwise unknown persons who were helping to make his ministry the success it was. Everything in life teaches us that the so-called small things in life are just as important as the so-called big things in the overall harmonious working of the universe and the body. Think of the small rudder that steers the big ship. Think of the small glands that control the mood of the whole body. Think of the small catalyst that alters the speed and direction of a chemical reaction. There are no small people or small deeds in God’s Kingdom.
And yet, understandably, many of us would prefer to be listed among the “big things”. So how do we handle the reality that more often than not, most of us will never make it on to the big stage in our respective fields of endeavor.
The secret is, if you can’t reach the big stage, stage it big. Wow! Isn’t that simply amazing and amazingly simple? You and I can take whatever “little” assignment God has given to us, and execute it in a big way. And nobody can prevent us from succeeding in doing just that. Epaphras was such a man and is introduced by Paul in In Colossians 4:12-13.
The Jews had, and will always have a unique and privileged role to play in God’s Kingdom. Epaphras was not a Jew. Unlike Luke, the doctor, we are not told that Epaphras stood out as a professional. His God-assigned role was to pray, and this is a role that God has reserved for every one of us who desires to be so employed. It is one thing to pray. It is another thing to wrestle in prayer. It is a totally different thing to always wrestle in prayer. Epaphras was the latter. He chose to concentrate his prayer on the Believers in Christ Jesus – “that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.”
Epaphras was no “fly-by-night” prayer warrior. He was Apostolically Certified on earth and Eternally Endorsed by God. Paul said, “I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.” Prayer, can be a passing distraction or hard work. We get to choose. Epaphras chose to make it serious, hard work, and that is his claim to the Hall of Fame of Heaven.
But there is one more problem. Recognition! What happens when you stage it big in your small corner, and no one recognizes you and provides you with the encouragement that all normal humans need to perform at our best? 1 Samuel 30:6 tells us of a time when no one around him was encouraging David. In fact, not only were they discouraging him, they all wanted to kill him. The Word of God says, “But David encouraged himself and strengthened himself in the Lord”. God knows and sees our un-recognized dedicated service and He will reward us. In the meanwhile, give God the glory by doing all you do for Him with all your might and to the best of the ability that he has given you. Be encouraged by the fact that you do not know, and may never know on this side of heaven, how your small smile, or deed of kindness or Christ-like example, could ignite a revolution against the forces of darkness, and enrich the Kingdom of Heaven.