THE INFLUENCE OF ONE

by David Sisler

It is fascinating to sit by a window and watch particles of dust dance in golden sun beams. If you run your finger through the cloud, you can create a swirling vortex of changing patterns. Later when those dust particles settle on the furniture, they are not nearly so appealing.

Dust, such a seemingly insignificant part of our universe is responsible for much of the beauty in the world. Clouds form when water vapor coalesces around dust particles, like an oyster creating a pearl around a grain of sand. The dust which is suspended in our atmosphere scatters the sun's shorter light waves coloring the sky blue. Breathtaking sunsets are created as orange and red light dance through dust.

Dust has an amazing ability to travel. Scientists say that the dust in your home may have been floating since God created our world. Smoke from the Battle of Bunker Hill may be settling onto your kitchen table. Volcanic ash from the 1883 explosion of Krakatoa may be part of the gray stain on your night stand.

In the 1930's dust storms from the Midwest blackened New England snow. On April 14, 1935, a wall of dust 200 miles wide and 1000 feet high rolled across Kansas at 60 miles per hour. In modern times, Miami's deep beige summer grime can be traced to Africa's Sahara desert, 4000 miles away.

With simplicity and yet with majesty, the book of Genesis declares, "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

One particle of dust, alone and by itself, is perhaps an insignificant part of our universe. One created-from-dust human being is never insignificant. To be noticed, one speck of dust must almost always be combined with thousands of others. One individual came make a lasting influence on all of humanity.

Twice during his ministry, Jesus fed thousands of people with only small amounts of food. The second time that miracle occurred, he was in Gentile territory, in a place where, during a previous visit, he had only limited success.

During that first visit to Decapolis, Jesus had healed a man who had been demon possessed. The man lived among the tombs, wore no clothes, and cut his body with stones. After Jesus delivered him, the man asked permission to accompany Jesus. But Jesus told the man, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you." The Bible says that the man did as he was instructed and the people who heard him were amazed.

Shortly after Jesus healed the man, the local citizens told Jesus to get out of town. When the demons left the man they entered into a herd of swine, and the swine promptly drowned themselves. More concerned about swine than souls, they told Jesus to leave. If the message of deliverance was to spread in Decapolis, that man would have to be the evangelist.

Sometime later, Jesus returned to Decapolis and this time a crowd of 4000 gathered and stayed three days just listening to Jesus. At the end of those three days Jesus performed a miracle and fed them, but a miracle had already taken place before the loaves and the fish were broken and eaten.

The message of the man who had been demon-possessed had been received. Earlier the same crowd told Jesus to leave. Now they enthusiastically welcomed him. One man's influence caused the Savior to be welcomed where once he had been feared.

If one speck of dust were removed from a sunset, no one would be able to tell the difference. If there were one less particle of dust available for cloud formation, we would never know it. The blue of the sky would never be diminished by the absence of one piece of dust. Dust gets its strength from joining with others of its kind. You one human being have incredible influence. But your power will increase beyond your imagination, if you bind yourself to Jesus, God's Son.

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Copyright 2002 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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