So God has been calling me to a more intentional approach to living. And He has been showing me that being intentional in the small stuff is good. My blog is small. Our church is small. Our family is small because most people I know have three, four, five kids…bigger families. Us? Two parents, two kids, one fish. Small.
Growing up, though our location changed with every military PCS (Permanent Change of Station), we had the constant of a small, humble home. Small circles of friends. Small churches too. Small family. Two parents, two kids, one dog.
There was a time when I was ashamed of the small, ordinary things. I didn’t like the look of my imperfect, unimpressive life. This high school girl was embarrassed to live in that small home; she didn’t appreciate the blessing of two hard working parents. This college student was ashamed of her small bank account and small wardrobe; she didn’t see how “rich” her life was, compared to so many. This new mother was ashamed of her imperfect marriage; she didn’t know that the union of two imperfect people was God’s perfect plan in the making. This homeschooling mom has been ashamed of her small blog and her haphazard homemaking, her common and ordinary life; she didn’t see the beauty of sacrifice and of quiet contributions and of being the wind beneath someone else’s wings.
This kind of shame isn’t the soul-shattering experience of carrying a terrible secret or the overwhelming guilt of a devastating mistake. I know that feeling too. But I get sick of myself, feeling this way sometimes. Feeling so…small. Get over yourself already. Still the feeling has lingered…this notion that no, that God does not have something BIG for me, not me. Feeling small doesn’t kill your soul, but it can kill your joy, if your joy is found in the wrong things.
Three years ago I went to a BIG conference for speakers and writers. Two years ago I went back to the same conference again. I was such a small fry there. There were other small fries with me. But everyone there seemed to be looking for the way to make a BIG difference, including me. I came home that last time knowing that God was most certainly not calling me to make a BIG difference in the world. I knew completely that He has called me to a small and an ordinary life, done well. But I kept struggling with wondering if being small and ordinary was “enough.”
Do you ever wonder if your small stuff is enough? These past few months the Lord has been showing me again and again that this is His way: You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much (Matt 25:21). God decides what is little and what is much, what is small stuff and what is big. I am seeing that all these things that I thought were “small” get bigger, the more you want to do them well.
- Seemingly small comment? God will hold us accountable for every word, even the ones carelessly spoken (Matt 12:36). Small words like yes or no, too.
- Small commitment of time? Five minutes, used well, can make all the difference in a day. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:15-16).
- One small thought? It matters: I can’t (But He can!) OR What difference can one person make? (The exact difference that God has planned) OR How can God use someone like me? (How ever He chooses!)…TRUTH? “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).
This is why the message of Wild Obedience at the Declare Conference really resonated with me. Then even this week at church, God spoke the same message to me as our pastor taught about this: Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). What is BIG news is not what we have done, but that we have been with Jesus. God uses the small, the common, the imperfect to demonstrate His Big, Extraordinary Perfection.
Christianity is a grass roots movement.
With all of us, doing our small part,
we can cover a lot of ground.
Lord Jesus, be near us. Change us by our encounter with Your presence, make us bold. Lord, we are common and unimpressive. Help us to humbly shine the spotlight on YOU. Lord, free us from the trap of trying to do Big things. Helps us to desire more to do YOUR things. Show us how to be faithful with little for Your honor and for Your glory, being content with Your plan.
photo credit, Copyright: iakov / 123RF Stock Photo