In the Small Things

do-not-despiseDoes God care about the small things that we deal with in this life.  By small, I don’t mean insignificant or material necessities of living; He promises to give us food and clothing, things we need.  No, I’m referring to small decisions regarding matters that affect us and the others around us, over which we have authority and responsibility to dispose of in our own ability.  The Bible is full of instances of such items in Jesus life.  They range from where to go next, or when to go there, or what to do in certain situations and encounters.   

Jesus shows us… that his life was a life of prayer, he often went out alone to pray, but at times took his disciples also.  His life also involved a considerable amount of simply waiting.  He told his brothers, “My time is not yet here, for you any time will do.”  He waited before going to heal Lazarus, which ultimately required healing him of death.  He took the opportunity to talk with the Samaritan woman, when customs dictated he should not.  He pleaded with crowds that afterwards tried to stone him to death.  He answered those sent to arrest him, saying, “I am he”.  He responded to those whom the crowds were drowning out, like Zacchaeus and the blind beggar who called out, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”  He took the children in his arms and gave them priority access.So, we see Jesus prayed, waited, interacted with the obscure and lowly, and demonstrated, how we are to respond to the small things.  Of course, Jesus makes it look simple because he is perfect. 

So, to be clear let me characterize the alternative approach, which is to give little or no thought to these small matters and just do whatever comes into your head or is your first whim.  Next, you can give them some consideration, but assume no one, especially God Almighty, cares in the least, so that you decide you are on your own and act accordingly.  You might use your best worldly thinking, weigh all the available information, analyze the consequences of various decisions and proceed having navigated all the political ramifications.

The scriptures tell us that believers are to live a life directed and infused with the Holy Spirit. ” For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Rom. 8: 14-16).  Also, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8: 28). 

Therefore, what I see Jesus demonstrating is a life founded upon faith; the unseen assurance that relies on a benevolent Father; that turns away from self-control, self-assurance, self-determination; and embraces uncertainty with prayer, calm patience, and an openness to loves’ perfection.  It is a daring way of life, seemingly balanced on a tight wire all alone, but in fact this way is solid rock and secured on the foundation of truth.  God will be faithful even when we fail.  Your faith may be weak, but God is merciful.  He knows we a weak and does not despise us because of it, but rather helps the weak and lowly.  It is pride and self-reliance that He resists. 

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