The words and music of this gospel hymn were written in 1924 by Kittie Suffield. She had been invited to be the soloist for a week of special meetings in Winchester, Ontario. During the week, a winter storm brought several feet of snow, and the train that Kittie boarded to return to New York became stuck in the snowdrifts just a few miles from the station.
Fred Suffield was a successful young farmer whose farm was only a few hundred yards from where the train had come to a stop. Fred was awakened by a desperate pounding at the door and was told how folks were stranded on the train. He harnessed his horses to the farm sleigh, made his way through the blizzard to the tracks, and brought as many passengers as he could to his home to stay for the night. A Miss Kittie Jennett was among them, the singer and pianist whose music he had enjoyed all week at the meetings. After the stranded passengers had returned to the train the next morning, Fred found a note that Kittie had left, thanking him for his kindness. That was the beginning of a romance that lasted a lifetime.
The pastor of the church where the meetings were held was A. J. Shea, father of George Beverly Shea, a gospel singer with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Team for decades. Kittie and Fred were married in the Shea home and became close friends of the family. It was Kittie who encouraged the teenager, George Beverly, to use his voice for the Lord. The Lord led Fred to become an evangelist, and Kittie was an accomplished pianist, hymn writer, and fine singer. Together they were an effective evangelistic team. Kittie also wrote several other hymns, writing as Mrs. Frederick W. Suffield.
“Little Is Much When God Is in It” encourages believers to use whatever they have and can do for the Lord. The boy who gave his lunch for Jesus to use must have been surprised to see what Jesus was able to do with it! (John 6: 9 -13) In the first stanza of the hymn, Christians are called to work in the Lord’s harvest. The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (Matthew 9:37)
The place of service may seem insignificant, but “it is great if God is in it.” Even a person who is limited physically can still be engaged in the battle “in the sacred place of prayer.” Although sometimes it may seem that only the “big ministries” are important, much of God’s work is done through witnessing and discipling in one-on-one friendships and small outreaches. God blesses those who serve Him faithfully in any ministry to which they’ve been called. They can look forward to hearing Him say, “Welcome home, my child; well done.”
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
(2 Timothy 4:8)
There's a work for all to do.
Hark! the voice of God is calling,
To the harvest calling you.
Labour not for wealth or fame.
There's a crown, and you can win it
If you’ll go in Jesus' name.
Seem so small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And he'll not forget his own.
Body worn from toil and care?
You can still be in the battle,
In the sacred place of prayer.
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
"Welcome home, my child; well done."
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