However, I consider my life worth nothing to me;
my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—
the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
Acts 20:24 NIV
DEALING WITH THE SMALL THING
The Apostle Paul was driven by one thing and one thing alone: to make Jesus known. He allowed nothing to stand in his way — not persecution nor imprisonment nor slander. He was compelled to push on, dealing with small things as they arose before they could become bigger stumbling blocks.
We would be wise to follow His example.
Many years ago, when walking was easy for me, I liked to do much of my exercise in the fresh air. When bright sun cast a golden glow on the shrubs and trees, it was a perfect time for a walk in the park. I was awed by the beauty surrounding me, every sense awakened, as I walked to the rhythm of an unseen bird’s morning song. No clouds marred the sparkling blue stretch of sky overhead. My muscles were warm and limber and I thought, “I could walk like this forever.”
I noticed a sharp pain on the bottom of my foot, but decided to work through it. The soreness intensified, but I persisted, not wanting anything to spoil my idyllic walk. I was soon limping, hardly able to put weight on that foot. When I finished the loop through the park, I sat and removed my shoe to find a pebble, tiny but sharp. The sole of my foot was blood-stained where it had cut through my skin.
My perseverance came at a cost. I was unable to walk pain free for the next week. If only I had stopped briefly to check, I would have discovered the pebble, removed it, and continued unhindered without lasting damage.
Father God, I know there are often big things that block our path, things we can’t move or alter. I ask for Your help to begin to see the small things and make the changes needed to keep them from becoming big things. Even in our weakness, teach us how to continue running the unique race you set before each of us. Amen.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- Can you remember a time when choosing to push through pain, darkness or fatigue came at great cost? Many athletes’ careers have ended too soon when they played through pain.
- What extra trouble might you avoid if you take the time to pay attention to warning signs?
- Do you feel like you have disappointed God when you say “no” to something?
Give yourself permission to rest. Small steps are better than no steps. Sometimes the best way to move forward is to take a break.
Use your break time to explore the resources for those living with chronic illness on our website.
Contributing Writer and Prayer Team
Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord, saved by grace, a worshiper, a poet, a broken heart, a lover of words, His work in progress on the Potter's wheel. She is hungry for truth and amazed by love. After five years in Africa, Karin and Rick (her beloved husband of twenty years), are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. She is the author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).
Prayer of Examen
Beautiful in its simplicity, this ancient prayer of reflection helps refocus our hearts and minds. How often do we come to the end of a day and wonder where the time went or regret the way we handled a situation?