Small Things

“It doesn’t matter if I do this or not”.  “No one ever notices and it makes no real difference.”  “My presence is not important.  I could miss several Sundays in a row and it will have no impact whatsoever”.  Have you ever found yourself saying those things?  Have you ever felt like the small things that you do are not that important or your singular presence is not going to make a difference one way or another?  After 30 years of ministry in one place I believe this kind of thinking is what keeps ministries, organizations, and families from flourishing.  People stop doing the small things.  They neglect or disrespect the small things and that leads to the big things to fail or flounder.

Being at a church everyday, I am privileged to see all of the small things that go on behind the scenes of a ministry.  That person who sweeps the rocks out of the driveway.  That person who spends an hour or two fixing something they noticed had broken.  It is has warmed my heart to watch someone come in quietly to clean out the refrigerator or wash a window.  As these people do the small things, the “big” things run more smoothly, people are not distracted by things broken or dirty, and other people are encouraged to follow in their demonstrated obedience.  No one person wants to feel the heavy weight of an organization on their shoulders.  No one family member wants to feel as if they have to do it all.  If someone feels as if they would come and fix one issue, that they are going to be roped into fixing fifteen other things, they hesitate to come.  When others are helping, people follow in kind and do their little bit to help.  

In Zechariah 4 the Lord says this, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it.  Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.  For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.”  Besides the fact that Zerubbabel is such a cool name to say, we see our human nature on display.  We despise the small things.  We want big events and huge progress and fail to see that those things only come when we are willing to do the small things consistently and faithfully.  Teaching a toddler class that seems more like baby sitting rather than Bible teaching, may seem like a small thing.  But when parents are able to feel safe and concentrate on worship, they grow stronger and families are more God centered.  When a child hears the truth from different sources, it is strengthened in their minds, even at an early age.  You may never see the “big thing”, but one day a wise decision is made by that grown up toddler because of the wisdom implanted in them by your small toddler lesson.  I love the way the Lord puts it, “the day of small things”.  Most days are not huge days.  They are days filled with preparation for the big days.  We need to learn not to despise those days but to recognize just how important it is to be consistent and faithful in doing the small things.

Covid 19 is teaching us many things.  May one of those lessons be that doing the small things, even though they are not often recognized by others, is so very important to everything we are involved in.  Picking up your socks, greeting each other, pulling that weed, fixing the broken hinge, cleaning out the drawer, etc. all lay the groundwork for the big day when God chooses to use those who have been faithful in the small things.  We never know how God is using the small things he is calling us to do.  We never know who is watching and is being encouraged to do their small thing.  So much glory is given to God and so much satisfaction is gained by us when we see our loved one go into a drawer and readily find what they need...all because we were willing to clean the drawer when God moved our hearts to do the small thing.  Be the bigger person today by doing the small things.

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