Thursday

When You Feel Small

I was traveling along the shores of beautiful Lake Murray in Gilbert, South Carolina when my friend Kim, who was driving the pontoon boat, slowed down to point out her "favorite house on the whole lake."  I snapped out of my eyes-closed-nose-to-the-wind puppy dog posture at the front of the boat to take notice of the house to which she was pointing.

I expected a mansion, or at the very least a gorgeous house. The shores of Lake Murray showcase some of the most beautiful architecture and landscaping in our area. Already we had sailed past  huge three-story columned homes graced with palmetto trees, plantation-style houses with beautifully manicured lawns and flowering Crepe Myrtles, and ultra-modern homes with large windows gazing out over the water.


The home my friend pointed out, however, was quite different than what I expected. She directed my attention to a home that I at first assumed was a boat house.  It was wedged in between two palatial homes, situated on a tiny triangle of green between its ostentatious neighbors.  The house was a perfect square, perhaps even smaller than my house at home. 

Upon closer examination, it was lovely. A shiny copper roof sat atop a simple brick exterior.  Flowers and a stone path wound down to the water, and a fancy front door smiled from its face like a grinning Cheshire cat.  From a wrought iron signpost swung a sign that said, in very big letters,

SMALL 

While I assumed that Small was the name of the little house's owners, I couldn't help smiling at its audacity. To me, that little house was making a statement to all its neighbors. It was saying, "I am what I am, and I'm OK with that.  I am not trying to be something that I am not.  I am not wishing I was different.  I am celebrating what I am with no regrets."

We can learn a lesson from this small house.  Sometimes we look at the people around us and compare ourselves.  We see someone with gifts or talents we don't have, and we feel inadequate.  We come up woefully short when we compare our appearance, our income, or even our children with others'. We become dissatisfied, insecure, and downright grumpy. Worse, we dismiss ourselves from ministry or service because we assume God would rather use someone "better qualified" or "more gifted."

Moses was a man who compared himself to his brother Aaron and came up lacking.  When God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, Moses argued with God, reminding Him that he stuttered, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent -- either in the past or recently. . . I am slow and hesitant in speech."  (Ex. 4:10) Surely, he reasoned aloud, You would rather use my more eloquent brother. . . ?

I love God's response to Moses, because it is God's response to you and me as well:

"Who made the human mouth?  Who makes him mute or deaf, seeing or blind? (rich or poor, beautiful or average, confident or shy?)  Is it not I, the LORD?  Now go!  I will help you. . ." (Ex. 4:11-12).  We know that after a hesitant start and a little help from his brother, Moses went on to be one of the mighty deliverers in Israel's history not because he was eloquent, or gifted, or handsome, but because he was willing.


Are you tempted to look around and compare yourself with others?  Do you fail to serve the Lord because you feel there must be someone better qualified than you?  I challenge you to surrender to God like Moses did, allow Him to empower you and equip you, and watch and see what God does in and through your obedience.

 Like Moses and the SMALL house, let's be BIG for God!






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6 comments:

  1. I see the writer in you so clearly in this post...there is truly a devotion in every act of life, isn't there? And you pulled the most beautiful thoughts from this one. I'm sort of hoping their name isn't "Small" : )
    Thanks for writing, Lori.

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  2. Me too, Gail. In fact, one of the nicest benefits of being over 40 is my increasing contentment with how God made me. It's a good place :)

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  3. Wonderful insight Lori. The important thing truly is being where God wants us. You know, being satisified even if one of our books never appears on the shelves of LifeWay or the New York Times Best Sellers List.

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  4. You know, Martin, have you ever wondered what God's Best Sellers List looks like? May our goal as writers be to make THAT list . . . Thanks for commenting.

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  5. Wow... my word for 2012 is Content....and I ask God to reveal things and give me words to help in my quest for contentment. Thank you for sharing!! God used you to bless me!!

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    1. Piper,
      Isn't it amazing how God comes alongside us with just what we need to help us press on? I am so glad I got to be a part of that process. Thanks for letting me in!

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