WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THE LITTLE?
by Maddie Reasner
We are limited beings. I don’t know about you, but I have always been aware of my limitations, what I can’t do rather than what I can. Growing up in the church I had the mentality of, I can’t do much for the kingdom of God. When it came to tithing I always thought that not giving at all was better or just the same as giving my measly $1 or whatever I had from my allowance. Even in everyday life, I often thought of what I lacked in resources, or time, or money, or talent and how could I contribute to God’s plan to restore humanity with the little I had?
In this day and age, we are often reminded of what we aren’t. As we scroll through Instagram we see the party we weren’t invited to, the perfect friends or significant other we don’t have, the team we didn’t make the cut for, or the “success” we want that others flaunt. We are always bombarded with a message that we need to be more than who we are, that we have to do it all to be worthy. I am here to tell you that is far from the truth.
I am currently in my first year at Wheaton college and I recently went to the“12x12x12x12” exhibit in the Arts Building. The exhibit is a compilation of works centered around dimensions. The exhibit’s aim is to make a world within an assigned confined space, capturing beauty, heartache, creation, and formation in just the 12x12x12 dimensions. The dimensions gave way to creative freedom allowing for any work of art that fits within the dimensions, 2D, 3D, or even a work of art 12 seconds long such as a film. It is about using the little bit to tell a lot.
Paul in his letter to the Corinthians tells them this: “We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages. What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be God’s field in which we are working (1 Corinthians 3:6-9).”
- BE FAITHFUL WITH THE LITTLE
We have a job to do, and that is to be faithful with what God has given us. I love this idea of our lives being the 12×12 canvas, like the ones in the exhibit, seemingly small and unworthy, but full of the potential to be something great and beautiful. If we disregard the space as unfit or too minuscule for “real” artistry or elegance, then we miss out on what could have been. But realizing the potential of such a space, giving it time, energy, effort, taking hold of the opportunity in front of us, we get to see a masterpiece.
As Paul explains in 1 Corinthians it isn’t about what we have, or how big it is, it is about God and his power to make things flourish and grow. “Planting and watering are menial servant jobs,” just as school work, and studying, and practice, and serving feel like menial, mundane tasks in our everyday lives. We have all been entrusted with something from God and we are called to be faithful with whatever that may be in our hand regardless of size.
Jesus calls us into obedience to him, to be faithful with what He has placed in our lives. There is a reason God has placed you where you are in this season of your life and this time in history. You are on assignment from God, don’t try and jump into other people’s lanes and try to fix all the world’s problems, instead, set out to influence your sphere of life.
- TRUST HIM WITH THE LITTLE
It’s not about what you have to offer, but who you have to offer it to. God has the ability to make things grow. During Jesus’ ministry, there was a crowd of thousands that needed to be fed. Jesus one, could have said they can get food for themselves, or two he could have made food appear out of nothing, but he chooses to use a young boy and the little that he has, 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish into enough food to feed thousands of people (John 6:5-13). God wants to partner with you and me to do his kingdom work on earth.
Paul teaches us in Ephesians that God is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Our wildest dreams don’t even come close to all that God has in store for you and me if we trust him with every little thing in our life. If we surrender our little 12×12 canvas that is our life, he will create a beautiful work, more intricate, glorious, beautiful, and eternal than anything we could do on our own.
It doesn’t matter the size of what you have to give, but give something to God and he will multiply it and use it for more than you could do on your own. We can only achieve so much with what we have, but when we hand it over to God, when we trust him with even the littlest of things, he can do insurmountably more than we could have ever done. God takes small beginnings, small gifts, small talents and he enlarges and expands them to bring him glory and to build his church and kingdom on earth. BUT, God can’t multiply it if you don’t first trust Him and hand it over to Him.
- PRAISE HIM FOR THE LITTLE
We serve a God who so loves us that he wants to partner with us to accomplish his will. God doesn’t need us, he wants us. He gives us opportunities to be a part of his perfect plan. God gives us so much that the only response is praise. Praise him in every situation. Not just in the big wins, although that is important, but to praise him for the little role you get to play in his redemptive plan. Praise him for the little everyday things, for another day, food on the table, a bed to sleep in.
Standing too close to a painting can sometimes make it lose its beauty and wonder. Looking at clumps of paint, or a messed-up line shows a nature of imperfection, but take a step back and observe the masterpiece carefully crafted by the creator, God. Remember to take time to look at the small canvas of your life and see how God so faithfully held you through your life, how he orchestrated it all together, how he protected you from mistakes and bad decisions, or how he used those bad things for good.
In seeing the big picture praise God for it. Give thanks to God and tell others of His goodness. Praise God for small beginnings, small opportunities, small acts of faithfulness, and small revelations of who He is. Praising God once again helps us fix our eyes to an eternal perspective seeing the little things as God does, important and worthy.
By Maddie Reasner (First Year College Student at Wheaton College)
Check-out her blog about her Aussie Adventures: https://maddiesaussieadventure.wordpress.com