Can one person make a difference? I remember reading a story of a man who was walking down a deserted, Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he spotted a stranger leaning down, picking something up, and throwing it out into the water.

As this man approached the stranger, he noticed he had been picking up starfish which had washed up on the beach and he was throwing them back into the water. The curious man approached the stranger and said, “Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing.”

“I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it’s low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don’t throw them back into the sea, they’ll die up here from lack of oxygen.”

“I understand, but . . . you can’t possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don’t you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast? Can’t you see that you can’t possibly make a difference?”

The stranger smiled, bent down, and picked up yet another starfish; and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, “Made a difference to that one!”

Even though his efforts seemed insignificant, the stranger was truly making a difference. He could never rescue all the starfish, but each one he rescued appreciated it. This is true of people and their eternal destination. There are lost people all around us, and it seems impossible to reach them all. That’s not our purpose. God wants us to do all we can to make a difference in the ones we can influence. They will appreciate it for all eternity.

You may feel small and insignificant in a world of seven billion people, but God wants to use you to make a difference in someone’s life today: share your faith with at least one person. Someday you will see that it was worth it all.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder