The Big and the Little

Big vistas are spectacular, filling our hearts with joy and wonder, drawing us closer to our Creator. Things in our heart just seem to settle when we see the big picture, giving us hope for the things that trouble us. Times of beauty, inspiration and rest help our minds let go of tension. Creativity is sparked, peace gets a foothold, relationships can grow. Many of us in lockdown are appreciating the beauty in our own backyards as we escape the four walls to find some balance to our unnatural circumstances.

Then there are the little things. They give perspective to the large. I mean, what is ‘large’ if you have nothing to compare it to?

I was wandering in my garden looking at the winter flowers, the dainty, yet so intricate beauty. It gave meaning to the whole. It taught me to honour the ‘small’ in its place, giving contrast and dimension. There’s power in the small things.

“If you are faithful in the little things, you will be faithful in large ones.”

Luke 16:10 (NLT)

When I was unwell in 2016 I was so encouraged by all the little things people did for me. Flowers, visits, gifts, meals, cards, even a hand embroidered gift. And of course, all the prayers and encouraging words sent to me as people surrounded me with faith. It taught me that the little things we do are so valuable in touching another’s life.

“And to one he gave five talents… So when he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'”

Matthew 25:15-21

Talents were amounts of money, in this case entrusted to his servants to use for his benefit. In this parable, the lord is just as pleased with the faithful servant of two talents as he is with those who had five talents, v22-23. It’s not how much we have that is important, but what we do with what we have been given by God, to use, invest and work with, for His Kingdom.

I was changing the battery inside a clock recently that had been given to our family by two young men from America whom we had hosted. They had come to bring the Gospel to young people through music. Kurtis and Chris had inscribed inside the back, thanking us and reminding us of our small part in changing the lives of many young people. They performed eighteen concerts in eleven days reaching hundreds of students. 271 of those precious young people gave their hearts to the Lord. Our part was small – some bedding on the floor, meals around the table, the craziness of our large family and marshmallows around the fire pit. And yet our small part was important. It was part of the whole picture so that young people could hear about Jesus.

We see this in the Bible: women following Jesus, taking care of His needs, and Joseph of Arimathea risking his position as a member of the high council to ask Pilate for Jesus’ body so he could lay Him to rest – Mark 15:41-46; the Shunamite woman who created an upper room for the prophet, Elisha – 2 Kings 4:8-10; the financial support given to Paul by the Philippians, as he taught them the gospel and then travelled elsewhere to continue in ministry – Philippians 4:5.

Sometimes it feels like there is little we can do. The problems of our world seem so big. We don’t feel we can make a difference. But we can. No one could take away the cancer in my body, but they could surround me with love and care and encouragement. The impact of all those little acts of kindness was so profound. Our small acts of love, generosity, obedience, forgiveness, acceptance, help, and hospitality are vital in these days!

You have been given something from God to work with, to invest, to make a difference in someone’s life here on earth. And such joy that brings. To the person you bless, to Jesus, to you. Your little adds to the beauty and wonder of the big picture.

“Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.”

Philemon 1:7 (NLT)

Blessings. Jenni x

Sunrise

I love sunrises – waking up early to greet the day. My heart fills in such a special way to see God’s beauty in creation. So, I drove a little way up the mountain to find a viewing place. Suddenly, God placed a road name in my heart. I had my doubts, but as I arrived, I came across a wide-open space where I could see so much of Sydney – the city scape, Penrith lakes, the hills and gullies, right up to the Hawkesbury. Just lovely.

It’s funny (not) how you can argue with yourself and God because you thought He was wrong, or you didn’t think you’d really heard from God, or you just didn’t want to do it. This opportunity had no risk attached, so I followed the prompting. O me of little faith!

It was quite fresh – it was winter! – but I still put the car window down. I was greeted by wattle birds singing and cockatoos squawking directions as they headed out for their day. Oh, and the glow – the reds and oranges as the sun crept its way to the horizon.

I find such joy and peace in creation, watching God at work, breathing in the calm, the beauty, the space. I am full of contentment and gratitude. Sometimes a beautiful concert or musical will fill me, too. Or watching children play, sing, laugh, run. Like my emotions are getting a tune up, my heart’s fuel tank is being topped up. I even cried once at my daughter’s dance class, filled with joy as these little people danced, listening to their wonderful teacher, moving their sweet little bodies to their own special version of the choreography.

Where is your place to have a heart refill?

‘I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.’


Eric Liddell – Chariots of Fire

We need these moments – having our hearts filled with joy and smiles and wonder and peace. They help us through the days, the pain, the work, and the unknown. We gain strength from these times –  

“The joy of the Lord is our strength”


Nehemiah 8:10

As I was watching the sunrise, a verse from Malachi 4:2 dropped in my heart –

‘…the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings.’

I pondered on this as I saw the changing colours and light. I recalled other verses that use wings as metaphors for God’s goodness and mercy to us. How wonderful to be able to hide under His wings -to find healing, shelter, forgiveness, peace and comfort. We have a place to go!

Later I noticed the caveat in this verse, ‘But to you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise…”

What is it to fear our wonderful God? It is acknowledging Him, revering Him, obedience and worship. We read and believe His Word in wonder.

Healing, peace, comfort don’t just come. Oh, they are there for us. His promises are “Yes, and Amen”. God’s heart is for healing, victory, overcoming. But the promises of God don’t just fall out of heaven. Oh, the world would like it that way – ‘If God was a good God…’  So would many Christians. But what is our attitude? Where is the ‘fear’? Where is our prayer, “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”?

He is ready to welcome us to Himself. He wants us to come under His wings. And so we come, with reverence and awe and wonder and worship and faith to our great God. “The Sun of righteousness will rise”!

Blessings,

Jenni xx

Actions

  1. Search ‘wings’ in the Bible and find yourself hidden under His goodness.
  2. Breathe in God’s creation, or take time for the activity that fills your heart with gratefulness and praise, that draws you closer to Jesus.
  3. Come before Him with worship and awe, and seek Him for the things on your heart. Believe His goodness, trust His promises and wait expectantly.