14: the little things

After a tissue-laden day laying on the couch, I had that grimy-bed-head-night-of-cold-sweats feel about me. You know the one. Although I really felt like taking [another] nap, I decided that perhaps a nice, warm shower would make a difference. Perk me up some. And so grabbing a fluffy, clean towel out of the back room I headed in for a time of solitude. Relaxation. Quiet. And you know what? It did make all the difference. It did make me feel better. 

And then in His sneaky God-is-everywhere way… I was convicted.

As I stood in that shower today, it occurred to me that there are people in this world who have never experienced anything like a warm shower. Something most of us take for granted on a daily basis. Something we don’t think about. Something we walk into our bathroom and just expect to happen. Meanwhile there is a mother in India bathing her children in the polluted waters of the Ganges, praying all the while that the filthy waters will make them both spiritually and physically clean.

Day in and day out we walk through this life with comforts that are unimaginable to many in the world. Homes with not one or two, but three or four vehicles. A television in every room. Mansions that house only a couple of people. In my own little house, I sleep on a bed piled high with pillows and comforters and nice clean sheets. As I dress in the morning, I choose between a dozen pair of shoes to complete my outfit.  

Most days, I don’t give it a second thought.  

I pay more for my lunch in the drive-through than most households in the world will make in an entire day. I have more food in my kitchen than most children will see in a week… yet somehow I walk out of there empty-handed declaring “there’s nothing to eat”.

I don’t have a clue what “nothing to eat” feels like. Not a clue. Chances are, neither do you.

I don’t want to just be thankful for the little things… Oh, it’s a good thing to stop taking those things for granted and to give thanks for them… but I want to go a step beyond. I want to allow God to break my heart with compassion for those who have not. I want Him to open my eyes to the need in this world, and then busy my hands with meeting that need.

Today I want to make a conscious decision to do more than just be thankful for all He’s given me… Today I want to recognize that to whom much is given, much is required.

What then, does He require of me? What then does He require of you? What more, than to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

Seek justice for those who can’t fight for themselves. Seek justice for the children on Lake Volta, forced to work 16 hours a day in fishing boats, forced to face the murky waters and uncertain fate of releasing nets caught beneath the boats. Seek justice for the child trapped in the American foster care system whose hearts cry is that someone in this world would love them enough to give them a chance. That we would love mercy by considering others above ourselves. That we would be His hands and feet, bringing His grace into this lost and dying world. That we would feed the hungry, clothe the naked, love the unlovely.

Yet this seeking justice and loving mercy will require that we walk humbly with our God. That we die to our own American desires for more and posture our hearts to receive more of Him. Humility is difficult for most Americans. It is not a trait readily ingrained into our system. We live in a ego-centric society where self is always number one. Where pride reigns supreme. Where we constantly measure ourselves by the guy who has just a little bit more than us, rather than being grateful for all that we do have.

What He requires is counter-cultural. It’s dying to ourself. Dying to our own selfish desires. Dying to our stuff. It’s offering it all to Him to do with as He sees fit. It’s offering Him our hands and feet and our heart to do with as He sees fit. It’s offering Him our children to do with as He sees fit. It’s offering Him our homes to do with as He sees fit.  It’s recognizing the gift of a warm shower… and then asking how He can use YOU to bring clean water to the thirsty in this world. It’s recognizing the gift of a full pantry… and then asking Him how He can use YOU to feed the hungry. It’s recognizing the gift of a spacious home… and then asking Him how He can use YOU to offer a bed to the weary.

What are the “little things” in your life that you overlook? What are the things that you take for granted… I ask you to look at them again, friend… ask Him to  open your spiritual eyes to see the gifts and the need… because as it is said…

 the little things truly are the big things.  

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