Few people would ever expect a janitor to be destined for greatness. Fortunately for my janitor-turned-preacher brother-in-law, Neal, he didn’t allow popular opinion to interfere with God’s purpose for his life. But his story did not begin as well as it turned out.

When Neal graduated from high school, he had a conversation with my dad about attending Bible college. He was not very excited about the prospect at first. He saw it as a waste of his time. Besides, there were so many hypocrites in Christian circles. He even stated, “If your church is a fake, I’m gone.” He didn’t need a Bible college education to succeed in life. He was a Christian, but he had no plans to serve in full-time ministry.

My dad told Neal, “Give us a year; and then if you think we’re not for real, you can leave.”

Neal took my dad up on his offer, but he almost backed out when he was asked to work as a janitor at the church. At the time, he thought more highly of himself than his peers. Who did the pastor think he was to make him a lowly janitor? The job offered no potential for advancement. As far as Neal could see, he was on the losing end of this bargain.

Time (and the affections of my sister, Julie) softened Neal’s heart. He began to realize that God was not trying to take but give to him when He called him to be a janitor. He saw that faithfulness in small things is a big thing.

Neal stayed at Dayspring and Quentin Road much longer than one year. He went on to marry my sister, have two children, and pastor a church of his own in Fresno, Ohio. God had used janitorial work as a crucible to mold Neal into the man he is today. He works the same way in our lives.

You might not think your setting as a preschool teacher, auto mechanic, customer service representative, janitor, maintenance worker, translator, mailroom clerk, printer, youth worker, single person, divorcee, or widower is an ideal springboard for the fulfillment of your hopes and dreams; but don’t rule out God’s wisdom. He knows your desires and potential. Little by little, He is preparing you for greater things to come.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.