Tiny Legos litter the floor, and miniature dinner plates adorn my table. I match pint-sized socks and fold little pairs of pants. My world is often defined by the small things: small toys, small people, small moments … and sometimes, the monotony of it all makes me feel a bit small too. I wash miniature hands, wipe little faces, dry tot-sized tears, feed pint-sized tummies. When my day consists of an endless array of little, menial tasks, and the scope of my influence seems to stretch only within the confines of this home, I have a tendency to feel small and insignificant indeed.
Maybe you do too. Perhaps the tasks that occupy your days seem inconsequential, your influence feels limited, your worth negligible. You may be a mom to little ones, a college student bound by class work and tests, a single adult grinding away at a mundane job, an empty-nester with an idle home. … You have hopes of rising to a noble calling, dreams of achieving a great task, and yet you feel ever.so.small.
I know those feelings; I’m often there myself. But here’s what I also know. Greatness in God’s economy isn’t defined by grand human achievements. For where the world sees small, God sees an opportunity to reveal the width and breadth of His glory.
The Word is full of small people and small offerings being used by the Lord in mighty ways. A little boy with three small fish and five little loaves, an insignificant Jewish woman chosen to save her people, a young shepherd with a sling, a manger and a tiny baby sent to save the world.
And then there’s Gideon … small, insignificant Gideon. He was thrashing wheat in a winepress, fearful of the threat of the neighboring Midianites when the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
“Pardon me?” Gideon replied. Surely thinking: Mighty warrior, who me? You must be mistaken. Gideon’s response indicates that his vision was bound by his present experience, but God’s greeting reveals that He sees beyond our circumstances.
And so the Lord answers: “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14)
Again, Gideon answers, “Pardon me, my Lord … but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” (Judges 6:15)
He was the least of the weakest clan; he was small, inconsequential Gideon.
But the Lord answers him, “I will be with you … ” Because it’s not about Gideon and his ability, it’s about God.
God is in this business of small, for when He shows up in the midst of our insignificant situations and does mighty, can’t-be-denied, miraculous things, He gets the glory. A shepherd boy slays a giant warrior, a small army marches around a fortified city and topples its walls, a stuttering man who was once hidden in a basket as a baby delivers a nation, an unwed virgin teenager births the son of God.
And then Gideon … weak, small, timid Gideon who used a fleece to test God twice … he ends up defeating an army of thousands with a mere three hundred men BECAUSE he trusted God.
I wonder if you ever feel like Gideon? When your days drag on, your tasks seem menial, and your calling is concealed by your current circumstances. When you feel small, the least of the weakest, remember that God shows up in the small. He uses the weak, the timid and the insignificant to reveal His own glory. He called the weakest man from the least powerful clan to deliver a nation with a mere three hundred men.
So today, tomorrow, if you feel insignificant, your sacrifices unseen, your tasks mundane, “do not despise these small beginnings” (Zechariah 4:10), for it is in the small circumstances and weak moments that God’s glory is revealed, His strength made perfect.
“… he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
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