the beauty of small things

Good morning, folks. It’s 7am on a Saturday morning in my little corner of the world. Yes, you read correctly, I’m up early on a weekend. There’s been a small stirring in me this week to cherish mornings more than I usually do. There’s a sweetness to waking up before my family stirs, to hear the sound of birds chirping outside my window before the coming and going of vehicles on the highway next to my estate drowns out their morning song. Then there’s the sweetness of my morning coffee, too. One packet of kopi-O dunked in freshly boiled water, and a helping of my favourite Meiji milk. Stir it like a kopitiam uncle, and sip to delight.

This is breathing room. And in this space, the Lord is reminding me of the beauty of small things, or as my favourite worship leader Christy Nockels would say, “glorious in the mundane.” How quickly and easily I overlook the value of small things.

The Lord loves small things done with bigness of heart. Jesus’ ministry was marked by the small things. When he came into the world, it was a small manger. He had a small baby shower at which three wise men appeared. When he busted out onto the ministry scene at age thirty (what a relief for me to hear!), he didn’t hold huge Reinhard Bonnke-ish rallies in front of tens of thousands. The beginnings of his ministry were small, befriending a fisherman here, a tax collector there. And even when he drew crowds, he always focused on people one at a time.

I think God has special blessing upon the small things. He blessed the small baskets of five loaves and two fish. He said faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. He told us to be like little children (Matt 18:3), and said the least shall be greatest and the last shall be first. Every little prayer in the least of my moments presses through the atmosphere into the bigness of his heart.

Frustration comes easy to me when I want things big (and now), and I forget the beauty of small things. When comparison not only steals my joy, but brings contempt for the small things I already have. In the playback reel of my life, it will be the small moments that add up. The way a friend shares small updates of her missions journey with me. The way this worship teammate always drives me home after rehearsal, never failing to make small talk in that short ride. The small prayers we pray in our small groups in church, with hands held, saying “Lord use our five loaves and two fish and multiply it for your purposes and your glory.” The way a small attitude shift makes a big difference between peacemaking or escalation of a conflict situation. The way small efforts are all I can afford, and sometimes though only yielding small change, but still I find the grace in him to persevere.

The big moments are great, but as with all shiny things, they lose their lustre after a while. The small things are what the Lord keeps in his heart, because in the work of transformation he’s doing in me, he’s not done until every small part of my life becomes yielded to his way.

Galatians 6:9

So do not grow weary in doing good, for at a proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

I don’t know when that time is, or how big that harvest will be in the natural, but I do know that every seed sown turns into a bushel of wheat that the Lord picks up and uses, whether in the supernatural or in the natural, in his time and on his scale. And that’s grand.

And Christy Nockels doesn’t know this, but her faithfulness in publishing podcasts from her corner of the world helped me remember the beauty of small things because of this episode: https://christynockels.com/ep-23-mini-podcast-update/

 

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