Already six weeks into 2014, I occasionally still find myself reflecting on the past year. Did I do anything big for the Lord in 2013? (Aren’t we always looking for major accomplishments?) I didn’t take any faraway mission trips, and the Bible study I wrote is not close to being published. But I graduated a second child from being home schooled all the way through high school. I guess that’s a pretty big accomplishment, yet it was made up of being faithful in small, ordinary, everyday things. Day after day, year after year.
Luke 16:10 says, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”
When David arrived on the scene to fight Goliath the giant, Saul questioned his capability. David explained that he had plenty of practice. “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them...” (1 Samuel 17:36) David was equipped to do bigger things because he had done the smaller things well. (OK, fighting a lion or a bear is not exactly small, but you get the point!)
When Namaan, an Army commander, came down with leprosy, he was expecting a flashy cure because he was an important man. Elisha, the man of God, told him simply to, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed” (2 Kings 5:10). Namaan got angry with that advice because he had been hoping for something really spectacular. Interestingly, it was his servants who pointed out that if he had been told to do some great thing, he would not have hesitated. So Namaan dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, and sure enough, he was cured. God was looking for simple obedience.
Are you waiting for something big and fancy to do for God without first proving that you are faithful in the smaller things?
What simple acts of obedience is God waiting for you to do? Every day there are opportunities to be faithful in small things. Don’t let the desire for a big assignment keep you from doing something small and significant. I can get so overwhelmed when I see a homeless person that I often end up doing nothing because it doesn’t seem like it would matter anyway. But the little things really do matter. So I try to at least ask for a first name and then use it. A smile and a word of encouragement seem small, but they are significant.
Praying can often seem like a small thing. I don’t always get to see the results, but lately God has been showing me some very specific answered prayers, just enough to inspire me to keep on praying. Those prayers really do matter. In fact, simple obedience to pray for someone else may be the catalyst for their big thing!
If you are desiring big things, make sure you are being faithful to do the little things well. And remember to do whatever you do, no matter how big or small, for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)!
• Lisa Jisa and her family have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.