I wonder how many times we miss hearing from God because we’re only looking for the big signs. The glaringly obvious ways He shows up and reveals something amazing to us. And all the while we’re too busy or too focused on this one particular way of expecting Him to show up that we overlook the little things.
I adopted the phrase, “it’s the little things”, about 5 or 6 years ago because at that point, it didn’t take much to make me happy. I’m not sure at what point I let that slip away, but I’d like to get back to using that mantra.
I try to read my Bible often. I don’t get to it as often as I’d like, but enough to feel like I’m finally understanding it. Tonight I was reading in Luke and when I was finished, I just kind of skipped around, half-heartedly asking God if there was something He wanted to say to me. I can be a talkative person and tend to not always listen to Him as well as I should. I flipped to Titus and the first thing I saw was a part of scripture in a little box as the highlight of the chapter. It said:
“God Saves Us Through Mercy”
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
At one point in my life hearing God was no problem for me. I attended early morning prayer years ago for a few months, and afterwards would come home and read the Bible hoping to hear more. God spoke to me all the time and I shared with people the things He said if it were about them. (I don’t say that to sound like a spiritual guru or to pat myself on the back. I was just at a desperate place in my life where God broke me down and made me see how much I needed Him) I’d like to say perhaps I was a bit more “spiritual” at that point, but I think the truth is, I was just a better listener back then. Life has thrown me some major curveballs and I’ve made some pretty horrible decisions. I think I got distracted, defeated, perhaps even arrogant, and I started trying too hard. God can show up in huge ways and provide grand miracles, but more often than not, He’s in the everyday, simple things. A quick scripture in the Bible He knows you need to hear at that very moment, doing something nice for someone, taking care of small children when you’d rather sleep. There is nothing we can do to earn His love, His mercy, His grace. He didn’t give us these things because we’re “good enough”, we’re good enough because of these things. Wow, what a revelation for me, and hopefully anyone reading this! I’ve talked a lot in my posts about not feeling good enough, the fact I like being busy and doing things, and think somehow I need to please God all the time. To have Him specifically point out a scripture in a chapter I wasn’t even reading is probably the highlight of my week! I have been beating my head against a metaphoric wall trying to figure out how to please Him, prove my devotion and desire to be the person He’s called me to be. And all I needed was this tiny little verse, these words spoken softly and directly to my heart, to show me I can stop trying. Whew, what a sigh of relief, I think I’ll sleep a little better at night knowing my efforts were ultimately all in vain. Instead of telling myself I need to focus on my “good deeds” for the day, I need to rest in the fact that no matter what I do, God loves me and His mercy & grace are endless. Just saying that out loud puts this supernatural peace in my heart and helps me realize I can stop tirelessly trying. That I can stop measuring my works against someone else’s, or even, especially, my own. I pray for the wisdom and strength every day to remind myself of this truth!
He doesn’t need me on an endless hamster wheel of effort, He needs me to be faithful in the little things every day.
So simple, yet so profound. I love learning new things and definitely don’t shy away from knowledge and wisdom from those around me. The mom’s group I attend has been a huge life changer for me because it’s taught me how to love and accept others in a way I hadn’t learned before, especially other wives and moms. Having 6 kids I’ve prided myself on being the one people would come to for advice because of all the experience I have-and I love that God uses me in that way. But joining a table of women who have needs much like mine has shown me that I don’t have to be the one with all the answers, I don’t have to offer the most advice. I can just sit back and give these women a chance to share their heart knowing that if God wants to, He’ll use me, and if not, then I learned something about them, perhaps myself, that I wasn’t previously aware of. I believe the women at my table were hand-picked by God because of the needs we have. The leader at my table has been one of the greatest blessings and I truly am thankful for her role in my life. I tend to be a straight shooter and appreciate when others are too. She always speaks the truth in love, even if it’s not what you want to hear. There’s not a negative bone in her body and her love for us is definitely something to strive for. I admire all the leaders in this group to be honest. They’re doing something for the greater good of a community of women who are raising the next generation of children who will become pastors, mentors, and parents themselves. Without the vision of the woman who created it, it wouldn’t exist. Her heart for God is evident in her teachings every week and I am so thankful she said yes to God when He asked her to start this group. Her passion is contagious and because of her, I’ve grown so much in my spiritual walk and feel confident in my parenting. She, and all the leaders, are a living example of Titus and I feel so blessed to meet with these women every week and learn from them.
Any time I feel God speaking directly to me it always makes me emotional. I’m sure that’s standard, but I think the reason it hits me so hard is because it reminds me that no matter what I’ve gone through in my life, there is a God who loves me so much and uses even the smallest things to show His love. As I read the small chapter, it shed a new light on my life and how He uses me. I just got a new tattoo, one I’ve been wanting for over a year now, an anchor with an arrow. The anchor represents to me that God is the anchor for my soul, and as a daily reminder that true faith is unsinkable faith (hence the name of my blog). The arrow represents a prophetic word I had spoken over me a year ago, about how God uses me like an arrow. That He shoots me into the lives of people He chooses and uses me to be an extension of His love. Titus is all about teaching people who God is and how to live according to His word, and it’s amazing to me to see that lived out on a weekly basis. As a mother, I know my job is to raise my kids up the way they should go, but God didn’t stop there. I was the youngest of 3 kids growing up and I hated it because I felt it took away from my natural leadership abilities. I believe God chose that though, to humble me and teach me to follow the instruction of others and not rely solely on myself and my own knowledge. I love helping people, it’s been my passion for as long as I can remember, though I know it really began shortly after my mom passed away. There’s an unexplainable joy that fills my heart when I can help someone, through my own experience or just being there for someone. Reading through Titus, for me, felt like I was really hearing God’s heart on His specific instruction to me. I cried tears of joy, hanging on every word, like someone hearing the greatest news ever-and to me, this is!
So next time you’re focusing on the big picture, take a step back and remember God is everywhere, especially in the little things. You may be surprised at how He shows up and reveals to you something you would have never noticed if you weren’t paying attention.
I thoroughly enjoy sharing these bits of wisdom I receive, and I hope my experiences can be of use to anyone who struggles with the same things I do. We’re all children of a God who hand-picked us to be in a community of other believers, and sharing my faith lovingly to those who will read this blog and be touched by His love gives me a deep sense of satisfaction & confirmation that He uses everyone if they’re willing. If this post speaks to you, please share a comment with me! It warms my heart that other people even read my writings and I pray about everything I write, that He would speak through me and use it for His glory. But to know that God used a specific post would be the most reassuring thing to me!