I once visited a man in the hospital on his birthday who had suffered a broken neck in a serious accident. He had been told by his doctor that he would never again be able to use his arms or legs. Now, in spite of this disturbing professional prediction, some feeling was returning to his arms. “God has given me a wonderful birthday present,” he said.
I left that hospital room with a new attitude.
Healthy legs were carrying me down the hospital corridor. I was able to swing my arms and move my fingers at will. Suddenly I realized I had been taking these blessings for granted and determined to never do so again. To keep my commitment, I often quote the first two verses of Psalm 103: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”
In his classic book on the Psalms, “THE TREASURY OF DAVID,” C.H. Spurgeon wrote: “We should not forget even one of God’s blessings. They are all beneficial to us, all worthy of Himself, and all subjects for praise. Memory is very treacherous about the best things; it treasures up the refuse of the past and permits priceless treasures to be neglected. It grips grievances tenaciously and holds benefits too loosely.”
Life is made up of little benefits with great potential.
Dean Farrar wrote: “Little self-denials, little honesties, little passing words of sympathy, little nameless acts of kindness, little silent victories over temptations—these are the threads of gold, which, when woven together, gleam out so brightly in the pattern of life that God approves.”
George Washington Carver, who found so many uses for peanuts to the economic benefit of the people of his area, said that as a young man he asked God to tell him all the mysteries of the universe. When no answer came, he asked God to let him know the mysteries of the peanut. Then, he said, God seemed to say, “Well, George, that’s more nearly your size!” And soon the mysteries of the peanut began to become clear to him.
Little things can also do great harm.
A husband of more than twenty years told me he was ending his marriage because of a remark his bride had made shortly after their wedding; one he should have forgiven.
A bit of gossip may cause untold harm in a church or community by blowing insignificant things out of proportion, sometimes ruining reputations and building barriers between former friends that, sadly may last through lifetimes.
Churches may prosper or decline over handling of little things. Appreciation shown to deserving people over little accomplishments can cause personal and church wide growth, while neglecting to respectfully honor those who serve because their contributions seem so small may stifle greater effort in the future.
Our Lord respected little things: a widow’s mite given in the temple offering, a boy’s lunch that finally fed five thousand, faith the size of a mustard seed. And He’ll respect what you do for Him today, no matter how small it may seem to you.