Friday, October 14, 2011

Finding Joy in the Small Things

     As many of you know, our grandson Branson has been battling a new type of seizure in the last few weeks.  The doctor was consulted and new medication was tried.  For a while, it did not seem like
it was working.   We all had been praying hard including our church family, our son and daughter-in-law's church family, Facebook friends and others.  Then, last week the seizures stopped.  How grateful we all were for God's grace and mercy to be shown in this young life.  However, God did not stop there.
     This past Monday, Branson had an appointment with his doctor concerning his seizure medications and when the visit was nearly over a miraculous event took place.  Our son took him down from the examination table and stood him on the floor.  Branson balanced by himself with no one holding him and walked three or four steps to his mother's waiting arms.  What joy filled my son's voice as he retold this story to me.  This was the first time Branson has walked on his own, and even this little guy knew it was an accomplishment as he smiled with excitement.  Certainly, this was another answered prayer.
     Following Bible study the other night, I told my husband that we are rich.  Our treasure is not made up of gold, silver, or properties.  Our wealth comes from moments like this...the little victories in life that are so often overlooked by others.  To be able to see our special needs grandson blossom in the Hands of our Almighty Father brings greater joy than any possession on earth.  On top of this, we have the blessing of other grandsons who never fail to fill our hearts with many smiles and love.  This is what counts in life more than all the toys a man could buy.
     Quite often, we overlook the small things in life which bring us the greatest fulfillment.  Jesus talked about the tiny mustard seed to His disciples.  They had come to Him having failed to cast out a demon.  Jesus replied to them:  ".....  For truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20).  For those of you who may not know, a mustard seed is a very tiny seed.  However, Jesus says if we have faith just this big, it will move mountains.  Out of something small, we can find great joy.
     On another occasion, Jesus spoke of the coming judgment when the sheep and the goats would be separated.  As He speaks to His sheep, Jesus welcomes them to the kingdom that has been prepared for them from the foundation of the world.  Then, He gives them these words of exhortation:  "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me,  I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me" (Matt. 25:35-36).  Naturally, the people (His sheep on His right) responded in a puzzled manner:  "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?.....And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me'" (Matt. 25: 37, 40).  Herein lies the heart of the matter.  All of the actions that these people did were small.  They were not great, mighty feats performed before thousands.  Instead, they were acts of kindness demonstrating the love of Christ.  In the small things, these believers were blessed as they blessed others.  What's more, Jesus said that doing these things to assist others is like doing it to Him.  God sees the heart. He knows our motives.
     A final example of God being in the small things of life is found in I Kings 19.  Elijah has just defeated the prophets of Baal and has run many miles to escape the wrath of Jezebel who has promised to have him killed.  He hides in a cave certain he is the only one  left in all Israel who is faithful.  Actually, he is in the middle of exhaustion and a major pity party.  God calls to him and tells him to stand on the mount and this is what is described:  "And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.  And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.  And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.  And behold, there came a voice to him and said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?'" (I Kings 19:11b-13).  God came to Elijah in a still small voice not in the raging wind, fire, earthquake or any other manner.  He whispered to him and Elijah recognized it as the Lord.  God wanted Elijah to hear Him so He whispered to this prophet.  God's meeting with the prophet brought another assignment and reassurance that he was not the only one who had remained faithful in Israel.
     At times, we think it is a small thing to talk to God and wait upon Him to speak to us through the pages of the Word.  Yet, it is not a small thing at all.  We find comfort, peace, joy and strength for what God calls us to do just as Elijah did.  In fact, if we would just take our time each day to count all the small blessings, our day would be filled with praise for God.  Unfortunately, our human nature wants to emphasize only the big things...big house, big income, big accomplishments, big job etc.  However, we need to consider the mustard seed, the small acts of kindness towards others, and the still small voice of God.  Each of these things is small, but they are mighty.
     As I look at what God has done in the life of Branson in just this past week.  I stand in awe of our Lord.  Those first steps taken by a determined little fellow are more valuable than any trophy I ever won or any accomplishment in life which came my way.  For me, this is a gift to our family.  It is a small thing, but an extravagant gift from God that we have all prayed for.  Many of you, through your prayers, have been a part of this miracle.  It may seem like a small thing to pray for someone, but it makes a BIG difference in the life of that person.
     I hope you will begin, like I have, to look at the small things around you and find the riches of the Lord in them.  We are His children in Christ and heirs to a kingdom we cannot even begin to imagine.    May we find the joy He has for us in the small things in life. With those things, let us be content.  Selah!

I welcome your insights and comments here.  They bring encouragement to me and to all others who read here.  Blessings!


Pamela said...

What an exciting answer to prayer. I loved reading your story. It is the little things that hold the riches of God. I'm thanking God right now for your grandson's miracle and the little things I take for granted.


Barbara Thayer said...

Thank you for stopping by and reading about our exciting event. We do so often forget about the small things in life that often bring the greatest blessings don't we? I appreciate you rejoicing with me! This has been such a wonderful time in our family. God is good to us all...all the time. We just need to see Him in the small things of life. Blessings to you my friend.

Christina said...

Wow! Bless God! I am rejoicing with you, too! Praying for God's continued blessings in little Brandon's life and may we all, by HIs grace, find joy in the small things.

Love and blessings dear Barbara! You are such an encouragement!

Gospel One To One said...

Wonderful news Barbara about your Grandson. Praise God!

Excellent blog by the way.

Be Blessed


Patricia said...

Rejoicing with all of you in Branson's accomplishments.

Joy and gratitude for every gift - yes!

Barbara Thayer said...

Christina....thank you for rejoicing with me and our whole family...little steps...but great big ones too! God is so good to us! May we find joy in all the little blessings He brings us each day! Enjoy your trip!

Barbara Thayer said...

Thank you for your visit Moray. I am happy that you are rejoicing with us in this wonderful news concerning our grandson. God works His wonders in the small things if we only keep our eyes open to see them! Thank you for your encouragement and your faithfulness in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to others in Wales. Enjoy reading your blog as well.

Barbara Thayer said...

Isn't God wonderful Pat? From the smallest creature He has created to the first steps of a special needs child, He is to be praised for His greatest and glory! My prayer is that God will remind me daily of how in everything....He is to be praised and given thanks. We often overlook the small blessings we receive each day.
Blessings to you my dear friend!