I had a different post planned for today.
But my heart is heavy this morning as many hearts are.
We look around at the chaos in the world, in our own country, and we sigh. We weep. We struggle to understand the hate and evil. Our hearts and souls ache.
And we wonder…what can we do? How can we lessen the pain in this world? What can we do to make a difference in this world?
And at the same time…how can we not let it overtake us? How can we not just want to shut off the news and bury our heads in the sand already?
Far be it from me to consider my words meaningful to the families this morning full of grief and pain. And whether they be from current events that we all can read about, or whether from just a new diagnosis, a recent loss, or just wounds from life circumstances, I find myself needing to write them anyway.
I was praying this morning, about this idea that keeps permeating my heart. Encouraging others to live small. Because living small sure doesn’t feel right about now. Living in the moment doesn’t seem like enough. Enough to put salve on wounds let alone enough to change the world.
I’m not a Biblical scholar by a long shot. But this morning I was reminded of the story of David and Goliath. You know, Goliath, the huge giant that no one in the Israelite army wanted to fight. The one who wore bronze and iron and daily mocked and threatened and taunted someone to come fight him. For forty days, the Bible tells us. We know the rest of the story, right? David comes to bring food to his brothers and is outraged that Goliath has this power over the army of his people. They tell him he’s too small, too young, too inexperienced. Saul finally agrees to let him fight Goliath and tries to put on the heavy armor they think he needs. Of course, it’s too big and heavy for David and he goes to the river and chooses five smooth stones instead and puts them in his shepherd’s pouch.
If those stones were in his pouch, they must have been pretty small, right? I picture a small bag tied around his waist. And yet, it was his weapon of choice. What he knew, what he was comfortable with, what felt right and familiar. And because he knew that God would defeat the giant because he was fighting in His name. I wonder at the zing behind that stone, like the full power of God was unleashed as David, in faith, whizzed that stone at Goliath.
We know the end of the story. With that small stone and big faith, Goliath was defeated.
I don’t know about you, but I want my life to be filled with small stones like that. Not in sense of throwing rocks at someone’s head mind you, but fighting and defeating the hurt and pain in this world with small acts. Some of you might not like that comparison. Sticks and stones tend to have a negative connotation, but let’s face it, we’re in a battle. And we need some ammunition.
The world is always going to be hurting place. There’s always going to be good and evil. There’s always going to be pain and joy. But it’s what we do in the midst of it that can be our act of defiance, our stand against it. While yes there are wonderful big things going on and wonderful organizations who fight against the pain and hurt and grief, you and I, friends, can do something even bigger.
We can let our small be the big that fights too.
We can let our small acts, with the power of God behind us, be those that zing the giants. Live small so we can live big.
I talk about living small as living in the moment, savoring those moments that make up our everyday lives. May the fullness of those moments be one of those stones. That we don’t live in fear, but that we find joy in our everyday living.
And then let the other stones be those small things you do for others. Those things that maybe no one sees but you and the other person. I think God is constantly prompting us to live small because He’s the one who puts those things in our hearts and minds we can do for others. It might be calling or texting someone who you’ve been thinking about, it might mean making a meal for someone, it might mean just a hug, an extra kiss to the ones you love. It might mean sitting and holding someone’s hand, crying with them, laughing with them. It might mean looking around you for someone who you know is hurting and asking God what you can do for that person. It might mean looking around you for someone you don’t know is hurting and asking God to help you be more aware. He’ll show you, He will. It might mean taking some time to actually finally get together with that family you’ve been thinking about. It might mean buying the person’s coffee behind you in the drive through. It might mean laying your hands on someone in the moment and praying for them on the spot.
It definitely means a thousand other things that you can do. That I can do.
David chose his weapon based on what he knew. I think we’re like David in that we know what we’re comfortable with. We know our strengths, our gifts. We know what works for us and what we can do. And just like David made that choice, to go to the river and pick those stones, so we too have to actually make the choice to do it.
This is just my personal opinion here, but something tells me that if David thought he could defeat Goliath on his own strength with just a stone, he probably would have failed. But David knew it wasn’t about him. He said, “I fight in the name of the Lord!” Can we do the same? We have to trust that God is with us, behind the small acts of faith that we act on. We have to trust that in our own strength we might not have a lot of zing, but with Him behind us, those small acts will make a difference.
If we are all aware of living small, if we’re all aware that small means something, maybe, just maybe, we’ll find that we’re actually living big. Let’s let small be our battle cry. Our act of defiance. Our act of faith.
So live small with me, won’t you? Let’s let our small lives together do big things.