My wife passed on to me a blog a good friend of ours sent her, written by a young…girl, woman, lady, about insights she came to during and after a mission trip to Kenya. Her name is Brynne.
She wasn’t a stranger to mission trips outside the US and along through the training and preparation along the way one thing spoken to her which she kept with her as a rule, I believe, was to, “…stop and be still, take a deep breath, embrace your surroundings, they are all different and uniquely beautiful, and most importantly look for God in the little things.”
It seems to me that if we follow after God, Yahweh, love Him and His ways, He will enable us to observe/note the differences and see them as uniquely beautiful, no matter where we are or who we engage with. But I like the part about looking for God in the little things. To me that’s the best advice. And here is why.
The people she and her team were ministering to were poor by our standards. They had very little except each other. They live in “small shacks with dirt floors”, their “church” had straw on the floor, no chairs, no A/C, no water fountains or food, no band, no praise team, lights, power points, no predetermined time frame (I wonder how people in our country are able to be spontaneous, be moved, experience a moment, a presence, an emotion when everything is planned out and has to be started, done, and finished, out the door within a specified time frame.). I think what can and does result, too often, is an attitude and expectation to be fed, to receive and leave. Sometimes I think we turn ourselves on and off like a faucet when what God wants is for the Spirit to linger and be present as we go from one phase of worship to another, linger and go with us when we go our separate ways…having an effect outside….
Their services last hours. They sing and praise and pray. They share the Word given by a pastor and with each other. It’s bringing and participating not just coming and receiving. Don’t you wonder what they pray for, at length, with praise and tears, when they don’t have running water, electricity, cars and boats and video games, when they have to work so hard for so little?
Picture it. These folks and we are light years apart regarding the physical state of being, where they are and where we are.
But our young missionary says she found so many that were happy in their lives. They were respectful of and valued others, were willing to listen to what others have to say, and give them time to do so,
And in the midst of their “poor” life style they give God glory and are thankful to Him, seeing themselves as blessed and wanting to share His Word and the things He has done… in praise of Him and as their means of giving a “…reasoned answer (proof…mine) to anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you…”. (1Peter 3:15 CJB).
In the process they experience, unknowingly I believe, that part of the passage that says, “…those who abuse (Made fun of? Looked down on? Be seen as less than?) the good behavior flowing from your union with the Messiah may be put to shame.” (1 Peter 3:17 CJB).
We are mistaken and come to false conclusions about people and their relationship with our, all of ours, Father when we compare the state and depth of our maturity by where we live and what we have, where they live and what they don’t have.
The Father’s peace and joy are independent of circumstances ( supposed to be, if we can accept it), passing all understanding.
I think sometimes we who are so blessed have lost the ability to understand that Jehovah God, Abba Father looks into the heart and… not at circumstances but us in circumstances. We may find, one day, that He has a special, highly desired love for those that had little and seemingly accomplished little, over those of us who had much but did not use it so well.
Remember our perfect, tender and wise Savior in the temple watching the rich as they gave their offering with much show and attention, out of their abundance, and the poor widow who gave all she had out of her poverty? Remember who He said gave the greatest gift?
It is His ability to look and discern and interpret correctly what is of value and who is of value, that we should be striving for, rejecting man’s flawed framework for judging what is good and valuable and what is not. And this is in looking for God in the little things as well as the big.
It is my prayer Father… I hope and pray… our prayer…Oh Wonderful One, that You would grant us the ability to search for and see You in all of creation and in all Your created beings regardless of their circumstances compared to ours.
As Your servant Brynne said and as we should know Father, we are all, beneath the skin and differing in circumstances, regardless of status, Yours. You look into the hearts of us all and in Your perfect wisdom and grace and mercy, You value and judge rightly.
You are not distracted or influenced by appearances or possessions or special affects but by the heart, its trust, its obedience, its faithfulness and its love… lived out in any circumstance it finds itself in.
Aid us, form us Father, as we strive… to be just like You with one another.
May Your Ways, Your character, be our ways and character.
Bless us with patience towards one another.
Enable us to see You in all things Father, most especially in the small and simple, in the humble or common, that we so often take for granted, giving little or no acknowledgement of, or value to.
You are the Creator and Master and lover of all people and You want them all.
Who are we to judge one above the other or one surely to be closer to You than another?
May we learn from the example of those with little in worldly things, that there is hope and peace and joy in trusting You and that we would begin to or increase in our own lives, the exercise of looking for You, trusting in You, being thankful to You everywhere, in everything and especially “in the little things”.
In Yeshua’s name we pray,
May God’s love be in us all.