The Power of Small

No one wants to be the smallest kid in class. Or live in the smallest house in the neighborhood. Or check the survey box for the lowest tax bracket. And we seldom boast that we teach the youngest kids in the church or lead the smallest Sunday school class. When someone asks how the new church plant is going and how many members we have, we hesitate before we answer, “Twelve.” 

The small tasks that occupy our days and consume our energy are usually obscure and thankless. We wonder if God values them at all. The world seldom does.When’s the last time you received an award for Most Dishes Washed? Or Most Snotty Noses Wiped? Or Best Crock Pot Meal?  

And then we read the Christmas story and the familiar narrative helps us realize that if our world is small, then we may be the very people God wants to use to do something significant. 

How do we know? 

This is the Christmas season. Over two thousand years ago, God executed the most important step in his plan of redemption—he sent his son into the world. And God used small to make it happen. 

He used an unknown teenage girl to carry his son. 

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant’” (Luke 1:46-48). 

He sent her to a tiny town to give birth. 

"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel,” (Micah 5:2). 

And he revealed Messiah’s advent to those insignificant people society overlooked—mangy shepherds, an elderly man, and a faithful widow(Luke 2). 

"But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10).

So what does he think about you? Perhaps you feel small, seemingly insignificant, and unimportant. 

“Though the Lord is on high, yet he regards the lowly; but the proud he knows from afar.” (Psa. 128:6). 

Through the ages, God has used the small to accomplish his work in the world. 

But sometimes we’re don't want to be small. We chafe at routine. We despise the menial. We consider worthless what God sees as significant. 

We don’t want to minister to just one person. We don’t want to influence only a few. We don’t want to work in a small office. Or no office at all. We don’t want to pour our lives into projects no one sees or pray from the sidelines while others go into battle. 

We want to be up front rock stars, not behind-the-scenes roadies. 

And then Christmas comes. 

And we remember Mary, who bowed her knees before Gabriel and said, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said" (Luke 1:38). Her breasts nursed our Savior. Her arms held him safe. Her weary hands washed his clothes and cooked his food. Her frantic eyes searched for him when he was lost. Her gentle lips kissed his boo boos and caressed his fevered brow. 

And we remember Simeon, righteous and devout. Instead of chafing and striving and asking, “How long?” he rested in the sweet presence of God. He grew so close to his Master that when he asked God not to let him die without seeing the Savior, God granted his request. 

“Simeon took (Jesus) in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel’" (Luke 2:28-32). 

And we remember Anna, an insignificant widow, dedicated to worship and prayer since her husband died after only seven  years of marriage. No one saw her knees grow calloused from a lifetime of intercession. No one valued her curved back bent low with her prayers. No one saw her face grow lined with the cares of this world.

Yet God saw her. And rewarded her faithfulness by granting her the privilege of announcing the Messiah’s arrival to those who watched for him. 

“Coming up to (Mary and Joseph) at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). 

And what about you? Does God see the smallness of your life when you submit it to him? 

Yes. And he rewards it. 

If we are obedient, we will hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord'” (Mat. 25:23). 

If you’re feeling small today, I hope the Christmas story will help you rest in the confidence that God will use your small acts of obedience to accomplish his purposes in the world around you. Trust him to make it so.

I love the newly-designed, glossy cover!

I suspect there are quite a few busy women on your Christmas list. Friends, co-workers, fellow church members, and your children's teachers, coaches, and babysitters, just to name a few. If you'd like to give them a gift that will draw them closer to the Lord, encourage them to spend time in God's Word, and think biblically, Hungry for God ... Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women is the gift you're looking for. 

And what about those special women in your life that may not have a relationship with the Lord? In the last devotion in the book, I share what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Giving someone you care about a copy of HFG is not just passing along spiritual encouragement, it's a gentle, winsome way to share the gospel.

Hungry for God . . . Starving for Time is available through Amazon.com,BarnesandNoble.com, and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

If you live in the Columbia, South Carolina area, I'd love to autograph and personalize copies for your special friends. Email me at LoriAHatcher@gmail.com.

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