God is interested in the little things. We praise Him for his glory, majesty, and power–rightly so–but He is also the God of atoms, and quiet moments, and insect wings and snowflakes.
God celebrates with us in our smallest victories–biting our tongue instead of bragging, shaving a minute off our 5K run, not burning the dinner rolls, remembering to put gas in the car for my spouse. He also sees our smallest sins–when no one else is looking; when no one else knows our motives or inner struggle– God sees every detail, every motive. God hears our prayers– not just our big urgent prayers, but our whispered secret prayers; our quick cries for help; our relieved sighs of gratitude; our shameful confessions.
God often uses yeast as a metaphor for sin–just a tiny bit can ruin everything. One tiny act– a fib, passing along a rumor, snubbing a neighbor at the store, watching “soft” porn on TV, hanging out with the “fun” crowd and taking dangerous risks, gambling “for fun” with money you promise to pay back later, drinking a little too much just a little too often, spending more time with that co-worker who “understands” your marital woes better than anyone…Most of us don’t set out to become addicts, thieves, adulterers, bullies, sexual predators, rage-aholics, embezzlers, or compulsive liars. But Jesus warns us that big sins start small: “murder” really starts with disdain and anger and hate (Matthew 5:21-22); adultery begins with lust; and the love of money (greed) is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Selfishness, pride, envy, rebellion– they lurk in little lies and delayed obedience and easy justification we allow in our daily lives.
But God is not only watching us under a microscope, waiting to catch us in some small act of sin. In fact, that is not His primary desire in watching us. God is searching eagerly for signs of obedience, faith, goodness, love, and kindness.
Jesus used parables about small things– a lost coin, a mustard seed, a pearl, a speck of dust, the eye of a needle, a narrow door/gate, a lily of the field– to illustrate joy, faith, self-control, obedience, trust, and even the kingdom of God. Small things are important, sometimes even glorious, in God’s eyes. Even some of Jesus’ miracles started with small, humble, simple things– water, five loaves and two fish, a few quiet words, a few tears.
Today, I want to pray that I will see God moving– not just in grand gestures and eloquent sermons (though I love to see Him move in those ways, too!)–but in the small moments. I pray that I will be sensitive, not to the world’s crushing words of hatred and deception, but to the still small voice of encouragement; to the hopeful smile of a stranger; to the rushing wind that lifts dust mites to glory in the sun; to the unshed tears of a widowed friend. I want to plant the mustard seed of faith and watch how God will grow it. I want to be that cheerful giver of my last coins in gratitude for the riches of Grace that cost me nothing but cost my Savior everything.