About the Author

Holley Gerth is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, counselor, and life coach. Her newest release is The Powerful Purpose of Introverts: Why the World Needs You to Be You. She's also wife to Mark, Mom to Lovelle, and Nana to Eula and Clem.

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  1. Holley,
    I’ve struggled with this too, sometimes…so many needs…so little me. But, when I try to meet every need, I am robbing other members of the body of Christ of their opportunity to serve. I have also found that God is persistent. If He wants me to serve in a particular area and I say “no” the first go-round, God has a way of bringing it back to me (sometimes several times) until I get the message of Hey, this is where God wants me. I’ve also found that He often picks the most unlikely places…I never would have dreamed He would have me in the epicenter of evil serving persecuted, impoverished, and destitute orphans in Pakistan?! It takes all of us working together doing our God given parts. Great reminders and litmus tests…
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev, this is so helpful. I see that same truth in the local body — standing with someone else to enable them to serve, rather than just running in with my hair aflame so that something can get checked off the do-list!

      • Michele,
        Love your wording here…how many times have I run in, hair aflame, to fill a need. You made me smile and think twice about what is mine (or not mine) to do 🙂 Have a good week! xx

  2. I often tease that I have the “curse” of compassion. Compassion is a good thing, but it can also be hard on the heart. Thanks for the reminder that “Every need doesn’t automatically equal an assignment.” I’m learning that the one thing that is always my assignment is prayer. Prayer meets my compassion and allows me to give those burdens to One who is always able. 🙂

  3. Holley, well said. I’ve finally understand I am not called to everything. I’m now more cautious, only doing what God I really hear Him telling me to do. I went through years of what seemed like trying to do everything. I now know something can be serving when called to praying for a cause, a person, diligently. My own plate is full, and I only have so much time and energy to do only what I’m called to do, and do it well. This is a beautiful confirmation. Joanne

  4. Exactly what I needed to hear! Thank you!
    “Whenever I hear about any injustice, natural disaster, new diagnosis, charity lacking funds, family in crisis, community in conflict . . . I slip into a bit of despair. Suddenly I feel like I’m letting God down because I’m not saving the world. ” Precisely where my mind goes every time, I guess I’m not alone. Thank you for giving me perspective 🙂

  5. Holley, I really think that God laid this message on your heart, and certainly that verse. I don’t even recall ever having read it! Thank you! I was literally just thinking this yesterday–about how the world is spinning relentlessly out of control, and how people everywhere are hurting, hungry, harried, hassled. How they are *dying*. I felt alone and frightened, because I just didn’t know what to do. I don’t want to be a hearer of the Word only. God forbid. But what on earth could I do to save the world?! Your question here is vital: “Whom are you asking me to serve?” You know, Holley, I think we so often ask the Lord, “How do you want me to serve?” We ask His guidance, and we assess our gifts. It’s a huge question and we need the answer. If we forever spin our wheels doing the wrong thing, praying (begging!) for gifts and ministries we don’t have and are not intended to have, then God can’t use us with the gifts we do have. But the “who” is becoming more and more significant in my life. Where, for whom, Lord do you want me use my gifts? I don’t think He lets us off the hook about world problems. We can pray. We can give a response when people ask (like with the horrific Syrian emigration, and how some Christians I know think they should be banned from our country, and I speak up and say it’s wrong…and we have talked to our church about sponsoring a family, and once they come, maybe there is more we can do). And we can send what $ we have. We too sponsor a beautiful Compassion child. But from my little corner of the world, there is only so much I can physically do in a great big world. Your post shines a light on perspective and passion. Thank you so much for your faithfulness in doing what God has called you to do, to whom, and where. This really helped me today.
    Love
    Lynn

    • Thank you, Holley. I am a problem solver who hurts when others are hurting. Your words brought so much peace to my heart. and some clarity to mind.

  6. Thank you, Holley, for your wonderful words! I struggle with prioritizing what the Lord has put in front of me. With all the information overload, we see so great a need in the world! I love your reminder that we are part of a body, and don’t have to do it all ourselves. Your words always hit close to my heart.

  7. Along the way, it dawned on me that it wasn’t my role to fix, rescue, or save. It was the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to do those things that so easily left me drained of energy.

    Embracing that truth frees me up to listen to the direction He gives so I am able to know for sure what is mine to do. And in that grace, a joyous freedom in my roles as counselor, family member, and friend has emerged.

    And in this, there is peace!

  8. My desire to “be all things to all people” comes straight from a heart of pride. I battle that constantly. And it always paralyzes…sometimes physically but many times in effectiveness. Thank you for your wisdom, your truth, and your transparency in the things you write. You always send me straight to the One who can satisfy my soul.

  9. I like this. But you know when you attempt to live it out, you will not always get applause. You will sometimes encounter opposition from others. When we take this position of seeking and doing what God is leading us to do, we will sometimes not fit in with the plans that others have for us. They may get angry. With God’s help we can bear that. We will forgive them and leave their frustration with God. Whew, but this is a position of humility!

  10. As I first started reading this post, I felt choked with tears. I know that despair feeling. So many, many needs. So overwhelming. That verse is so encouraging as is the truth that every need doesn’t equal an assignment. I love your question – “God, who do You want to send me to today?” That takes a load off. There are many who don’t have the financial means or the health to support causes or go out to visit people, and they feel bad, but one person at a time seems more doable. Even an encouraging note to someone or a compliment or “How are you?” to clerks at stores makes a difference in the life of that person. One person at a time to whoever God sends us. 🙂 And we can always pray for others. It’s hard sometimes, but I’m trying to learn when I’m pressed down with so many needs around us to unload those burdens to a loving and compassionate Jesus. To trust His love, power, and grace to work miracles that are not possible in and of ourselves. I once heard of an old woman in a nursing home. She was limited to what she could do, but she didn’t let it discourage her. She said, “I can always pray.” Thank you so much for encouraging my heart today, Holley. Blessings and hugs!

  11. It is my job to pray, to ask the Lord for direction, and with His leading move forward, using the gifts of Spirit to those within my grasp. It isn’t my job to intervene when the Lord has someone else in mind to use. Don’t get ahead of God. Rely on His timing. That gives me peace, Isaiah 26:3. Trust in the Lord and He will direct me.

  12. This post was a God send today! I was fretting over all the horrible things happening in the news lately and praying for it all. My heart was so heavy! Thanks for helping to lighten that load with a Godly perspective. Yours was the first email in my inbox today.
    Best to you Holley!

  13. This is so on POINT for me today! Thank you for helping me move out of overwhelming analysis paralysis!

  14. Thank your for sharing your honest struggle with feeling overwhelmed by so many needs in our hurting world. I can relate to your thoughts of shame as I feel insulated from the horror of human trafficking and the cruelty of ISIS persecuting Christians. I appreciate your posting as an encouragement to what my heart needs to hear and your pointing to Jesus to ask Him who and where He wants me to minister.

  15. Holly,

    Sometimes we are more lead by ambition than by the Spirit…
    Some things seem to be bigger in our opninion.
    But our heavenly Father does not look at things that way.
    Every person counts to Him.
    He gave me peace and rest to follow in His footsteps by
    taking care of our daughter.
    She has had a really bad time.
    And has an autism diagnosis.
    I loved to be busy in church.
    But now the only thing I can do is:
    Be there for her. In His Name.
    It is a lonely road we travel,
    but we feel the peace and love of God
    In our quiet home.

    Ann. Holland

  16. Excellent! Yes, “do for one what you can’t do for all.” That Andy Stanley idea has become our mantra. It’s overwhelming and disturbing, but we can still do something…and that something means something to someone.

  17. I needed to read this today. We are currently in Frankfurt, Germany, and were here when refugees from Syria starting pouring into Germany. It has been so hard to figure out what God wants us to do in the middle of this, and our hearts are so heavy. Your words brought freedom, and that verse from Luke is powerful reminder.

  18. I think we feel so much more pressure these days too, because of social media. We see needs and pleas nonstop! But this was such a refreshing reminder. If we are quick to listen….to God, He will lead and guide us when we ask “who should I go to?” Thanks for this encouragement, Holley!

  19. Holley,

    No one can “do it all” nor is God calling us to do everything for everyone. The statement: “We don’t have to do everything. We only need to do our part” is so true. God has gifted each of us differently. We need to use those gifts to edify others.. Each of us working together can make a difference We just need to do what we can where we can as often as we can to as many as we can. For now that means visiting my aging dad in assisted living 3X week and helping him, talking with the other residents, and thanking the workers. When possible I send cards, visit people in hospital, always pray for others.
    Blessings 🙂

  20. Everyone says God talks to them, I pray and ask what he has in store for me to help but I don’t get answers. I have found a great christain church to go to and I am reading the bible for the 1st time and I repented and I am trying to be a better christain, but it seems like I should be doing more and I feel stuck in a rut. Even tho my health is not that great I still want to help others, I do donate some time by watching preschool kids when church is in.

  21. Excellent. Thanks for this! While I’m determined to not be like Moses (but God, I have this…but God, I’m like this..) Im learning I’m not always called to act. Love your pointers/guides. Thanks again so much. And you said–its easy to slip into dispair and do nothing…I read a quote: If we wait till we can do everything for everybody instead of something for somebody, we end up doing nothing for nobody.
    We keep marching in Love!
    Hugs from Holland,
    Jasmine

  22. Like many, I often feel like I should do more to help when bad situations occur. Just this morning, I felt like I should say or do more to help my sister. She recently fell down and had to have surgery. But, I realized that I can’t solve all of her problems. However, I can visit with her, listen to her concerns and when possible, do what I can to make her situation, better.
    Thanks so much, Holley, for this post!
    Toni

  23. I thank for this word of encouragement and I praise God for the trials and tribulations lord god who do you want me send me today

    God bless

    Sonia