It isn’t the chair in the living room we tend to trip over. It’s the pair of slippers randomly kicked off and left where we didn’t expect. And in so much of life it isn’t the big things that trip us up, it is the little things that count.
How many times we only have a little bit to offer in a situation so we don’t offer anything at all, not realizing our little bit is important. We can be concerned that we don’t have enough to fulfill all someone’s need so we don’t give anything. Knowing we don’t have all the right words to say we remain silent instead of offering our word of compassion. Not wanting to offend, we don’t offer to help out, knowing we can’t take care of the full issue. I like to write hand-written notes and those take time and thought. How often I just never get it done because I don’t have time to do it ‘right’. How much better if I’d just send something rather than waiting for the perfect expression! It’s time to recognize that what we have may be exactly the ‘little bit’ someone else is lacking.
A recent blog about mannashowed us that rather than God sprinkling croutons on the ground for the people of Israel to pick up and toss back, manna was an unknown substance. The very name means “What is it?” because the people did not know what it was or what to do with it until Moses told them to grind it into flour, then bake or boil it. This week our encouragement from the Lord is to not miss the manna – the little things – He is sending us today. To believe that what we have can make a difference.
There are so many voices all shouting to be heard! Computers and cellphones have opened a plethora of opportunities and means to make one’s face known and voice heard. Even when it is distilled into categories such as sports, technology, medicine or handcrafts, the vast array of options to do, to read, to have and want make it challenging to know how to sort it all. Do I believe this webpage or that one? Try this option or another? Accept his premise or hers? Wisdom and discernment are valuable commodities, gifts freely given by the Lord to help us navigate the noise. The Word tells us that if we’re lacking these things we should ask and He will freely give them to us, so it’s up to us to ask and take advantage of His help.
In 2017, the Lord is speaking to us, His children, in ways we have not known in the past. This is a good thing and tells me we are growing up and into Him. There is a way I speak to my grandchildren when they are infants that changes as they grow and will continue to change as they mature. I do not speak the same to the 1 year old as I do the 5 year old, and trust me, the 3 year old gets a language all his own! So it is with us. As we grow in the knowledge of the goodness of the Lord, the way He speaks to us changes, too.
It is important that we have our spiritual eyes open and ears alert to hear Him. Some will begin hearing Him clearly for the first time while others have grown accustomed to hearing Him speak to them in the same way for many years. As this changes it will be required of us that we understand the ‘manna’, the bits and pieces of truth, direction, caution and so on that He speaks. When we hear a thing and wonder, ‘What is that?’, those who speak with Him face to face as Moses did will understand what it is we are to do with what we hear; how we are to process the many voices and fine tune our hearing to dial in to what He is saying.
Even a cursory glance throughout scripture makes us aware that this God in Whom we belong is so multi-faceted He requires many names to try to describe Him in earthly terms. One of those names is ‘Word’. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. We know creation happened at His word as He uttered His essence over the chaos. Words matter. Our words matter. If you think of each word as a little seed you know that what you plant is what you will grow. What do you want to see happen in your future? In your child, spouse, parent, friend, nation? Speak that. He who created with words made us in His image and put His words in our mouth. Feelings are the by-product of thoughts and thoughts the by-product of words, so it is important that we guard our minds and carefully measure our words. Since He who is life and hope and all goodness lives within us, may we be those whose verbal expressions ignite those very things – life, hope, goodness – in the ones to whom we speak and those who overhear us speak.
Then, as in days of old when each person gathered manna daily, we gather together around Him. Each one brings a song, a hymn, a spiritual song – a bit of manna they have gathered from His heart throughout the week. Sometimes this happens in a corporate worship setting but just as often it is over a cup of tea or the water cooler or when taking a walk with a friend. Our songs, hymns and spiritual songs carry the sound of how He protected, provided or brought us joy. Together we are made aware of the “little things” He does for us and as we share our ‘manna’, our ‘little bits’, the Bread Of Life meets with us to sustain us and cause us to have healthy, flourishing souls.
This week, may you Love Yourself and Others To Life by thinking and then speaking words of life. Whether you are talking to yourself (thinking) or speaking aloud to another, remember, it’s the little things that count.