The small things in life matter more than we realize.
That’s what I was reminded of this week when Pam and I took a homemade pound cake to a neighbor. She and her husband live up the street from us and we’d wave when we passed on the road but didn’t know much about them. When we recently learned that the woman was critically ill, though, Pam thought we should get to know them better.
The sacred places of life are where we see each other as we really are
So Pam made her pound cake—it’s amazing—and we walked up to our neighbor’s house. The husband welcomed us at the door and took us to the den where his wife was in a hospital bed with a serious pulmonary condition. They graciously accepted the pound cake then we talked for a few minutes, learning a little of their struggle with her illness. As we got ready to leave, I told them that I was a preacher and asked if I might pray over them. Of course, they said. What followed was one of those moments that I cherish more than any other, when a door opens into the sacred places of peoples’ lives and we begin to see one another as we really are.
A neighbor. A pound cake. A few minutes’ visit. A prayer. Small things that neighbors do with one another every day; small things we can even do for ourselves. But also something more. The small things in life matter more than we realize.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the large—and threatening—events going on around us right now. COVID, of course. The economy. Race relations. What the future may hold for our children and grandchildren. The shifting ground beneath our feet as political factions in our own nation throw us into confusion. On the international front, what about China?
The more we lean into the little things of life the more we’ll experience God’s grace
I’m not saying the big things in our world right now aren’t important—they are. But the Bible tells us that there’s another dynamic at work, less visible but no less important, brimming over with Kingdom purpose and at odds with the cascading series of crises that floods modern life. Life is in fact lived on a smaller stage and the more we lean into the little things, the more we’ll experience God’s presence and grace. The small things in life matter more than we realize. That’s why the Bible has so much to say about the subject:
- God can lead his people to victory with a few warriors just as easily as with an army. (1 Samuel 14:6)
- The strength of the church doesn’t lie in those who are wealthy, influential and powerful but in those who are weak, poor and desperate. (1 Corinthians 1:26)
- The boy who brought Jesus the small lunch his mother had packed for him learned that in Jesus’ hands, our smallest offering can feed a multitude. (John 6:8)
- Jesus promises that those who are faithful in a very little can be counted on to be faithful in much. (Luke 16:10) • And in Zechariah 4:10 God tells us not to despise the small things because they matter to him.
The little things in life have a way of leading into the big things of God
So the next time you have the chance to reach out to someone around you with a small gesture of encouragement, generosity, hospitality or even prayer, remember that you’re doing something much more important than you may realize. The little things in life have a way of leading into the big things of God.
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