How are you doing? We’ve all got something going on and I’m not just talking about the pandemic. I’m talking about all “the other stuff.” The other stuff that we try to ignore and smile through. The stuff that nips at our heals but we drag it with us as we carry on.
Not Getting Over It
Me ? I didn’t sleep well last night. I received the brunt of an irrational explosion from Ian while helping him with the technology of online college. Never mind the thoughtful snack delivery or reconnecting his wifi. Apparently, after a late night with his ‘so called’ friend, I’m toxic. Without any explanation of what that means, he hurled the phrase at me liberally. Any attempt to understand was futile. Confused and helpless, I left wearing my new label. With no response to calls or texts, I’m gutted and I can’t help but be sad and worried.
I have been here before. The terminology may be new, but the result is the same. I know that hurt people, hurt people and I also recognize the pattern, the ones you love the most, are the ones you hurt the most. Understanding does little to heal my broken heart.
I admit my prayers have been a little half-hearted. Sure I want the ability to move on, but to go to the throne of the Almighty with“this again” seems, well…shameful. Can you relate?
Downplay the little stuff
When crisis is all around, I tend to minimize “my stuff.” Because it’s relatively insignificant, I’m reluctant to burden my friends, or even God. It’s as if I grade my stuff to determine what warrants His attention.
After all, we are still living with this pandemic in a hostile and divisive country. Fires are raging and people are dying. I have friends who are really suffering and I’m sure you do to. In my circle there is cancer, a dying marriage and a loved one who has turned to drugs.
Just get Over It
In the midst of all those worthy concerns my self talk goes like this… Just get over it Debbie. It’s just a fight with your kid.
Here’s the thing… God is not eager for us to ‘just get over it.’ He doesn’t stop caring about our little stuff just because this world is experiencing big stuff. God doesn’t have to prioritize His duties. He can handle all of it, perfectly. Besides that… a hard thing for someone else doesn’t invalidate our suffering, no matter how minor. God cares about all of it.
Very simply, God cares about what you care about, because He cares about you.
In 2nd Timothy, the apostle Paul writes a letter from a cold hard prison cell. This is Paul’s last epistle before his death, his final words to his missionary friend Timothy. Most of the letter Paul focuses on big stuff —the godlessness in the last days, enduring for the gospel, sound preaching. But then curiously, he gives Timothy a small, insignificant final instruction.
2 Timothy 4:13 “Bring the cloak that I left.”
How odd. Why is this included in the living breathing Holy word of the Lord? One chapter earlier we’re reminded that…
2 Timothy 3:16,17. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
So then… what is the point of Pauls’ final instruction?
My truthful response is… I have no idea. But I do wonder. I wonder if this tiny detail is included to remind us that our little stuff matters— little stuff like a forgotten coat.
Besides… from God’s vantage point, everything is little— including a pandemic, a hurricane, or an out of control fire. The question of whether God cares is more about the depth of His love than the breadth of HIs power.
Luke 12:6,7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
God remembers birds that are sold for pennies. Even though small consequence to humans, they’re remembered by God. Jesus tells us we are worth much more than that. Of course God cares! He cares enough to number the hairs on our heads.
It’s also true that…
God cares about your disappointment with your kid, your sadness about things you’re missing, your hostility towards the president, your frustration with zoom, your argument with your spouse, your bad nights sleep.
I came home from a special birthday overnight in Santa Fe with this at my doorstep.
Nothing is too big for our Lord. And nothing is too small either. What can you lay at His feet today?
For His Glory, Debbie Hucke
I feel exactly the same way, shame at taking the same request about my behavior or feelings over and over to God. Thank you for this reminder of what I know in my heart and in my mind, God can handle anything and he wants nothing more than us to stay as closest possible by communicating Moment by moment about everything. Thanks again for such a wonderful message.
Thanks for your comment Terri. Yes… staying away to handle it without Him is what the enemy wants. How sneaky that liar is.
Karen Chalmers says
When I saw the note & flower left for you reminded me (again) how much God loves us when we come to Him for EVERYTHING no matter how small WE think it may be. Must melt the Lord’s heart like the note must have melted yours.
God bless Ian’s repenting heart! He learned that from “somewhere” hmmmm.😊
It’s true. That is what the Lord wants of us.
Marilyn Lehning says
The note and flowers brought tears, thanks for sharing, xxxooo!!!
That sums me up, I was just saying to myself, all that but I use BUCK IT UP, and sometimes I get so tired of Bucking it Up, but I keep going! I want to be able to say to myself it’s OK to be messed up during this time, everything is out of control. I can’t hug the children at my school, I can’t even see their little faces completely. I can’t take my Grandchildren shopping or to a park where there are playgrounds, I don’t like this new norm. But I have to keep the joy that is only given from the Holy Spirit in my heart or I don’t become downer for others. Thank you Deb, for sharing.
It’s true. Buck up is the American way, even in this weird time. Thank God for His grace. May we learn to accept it.
Anne kole says
Seeing that note and flower almost brought me to tears. And it shows that God is present and working in every circumstance, large and “small”. He’s also working in Ian. Thank you for your beautiful and insightful words! 💕
I know it’s all true. Lord forgive me for my impatience as you work on each of us.
Betsy Everett says
I can’t count the many times this has happened to me! I hate that it keeps me awake at night and obsessing about it during the day. And sadly, I don’t always take it to our Lord. So thank you for this reminder to always “take it to the Lord in prayer”. And Ian’s note shows how much love he has for you.
God Bless you Debbie!
Yet again to learn the lesson the hard way. Thanks Betsy.
Judie Dwyer says
What a wonderful story (& surprise ending)!
Thank you Judie.
Ginger Horner says
Thank you, Debbie for helping us see that sometimes it is the “small” stuff that bothers us, is as important to take it to God, as the big stuff. When we are faced with the big stuff, like severe illness’s, broken relationships, pandemics, we do turn to God in prayer. But, I think that turning to God for the small stuff is just as important–if not more so. I know for me that sometimes the small stuff can be a –tipping over the edge point–toward anger and hurt. I guess what I am trying to say, Debbie, is that I think whatever we are going through is important to God and we go to Him in prayer.
Bless Ian, for his insight and apology and you for your sharing. Ginger
In the end it’s all small stuff. (I think that’s a book!). Thanks, Ginger.
Hilda Ripley says
I think this can be followed up by also giving thanks to God for the small things – we tend to focus on giving thanks for the big blessings, but tend to forget to give thanks for all the small, wonderful things that happen during the day.
Amen Hilda! So very true.
Geraldine Dempsey says
So much of what you write applies to all of us. I so appreciate your insight and direction.
Yay! I’m learning right alongside of you. Thanks.
Small stuff chips away as relentlessly as big stuff. Reading about God’s complete concern for us, even in the little things, made me feel small, grateful and blessed in more ways than I can count. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, in all things. Just gotta remember that! Bless Ian for his sweet, dear apology. He knows who’s always in his corner! What a special story.
Indeed it does. Thx Dorma.
Liz Bass says
And we think God doesn’t hear our lamenting. It’s so amazing how God does say ‘here I am’ and working His magic in Ian just makes it more special.
In the midst of all this craziness, we have to have eyes to see the little miracles God gives us every day to let us know yes He indeed is here and hears us.
I can’t imagine trying to get through these times without our every present Lord and Savior.
Amen Liz! A constant in times of trouble!
Berta Pitzer says
I love how God pays attention to the smallest details in our lives and in the lives of those we know and love. I love the beautiful surprise ending of Ian’s note and flowers. Like others, it caused me to be touched by his and His caring of your heart. Thanks for the reminder that ALL things matter to God in our relationship with Him. That’s what He was telling me this morning. Give ALL of it to Him, trust Him, and rest in His arms.
Amen. It did feel as if the thoughtful note was timed and delivered from God.
Cathy Jones says
Thank you, Debbie, for this message. Bless Ian for his apology. It makes everything so much better. It’s funny that you mention bringing the small things to God. I’ve always told myself not to be selfish and burden Him with those small things, (even though they do keep me awake)! You’ve given me something to think about, again!
I’ve said the same thing. I’m so pleased I’ve stirred your thinking.
Bobbie prager says
Ian’s frustration and anger got the best of him this time . He took it out on the one who loves I’m the most. How hurtful we can be to those we love most!
His apology was dear and from his heart.
Fred and I enjoy your blogs and we have learned much from them.
Stay safe during this time of unrest and hatefulness. Hi to Doug. God bless
Hi Pragers. Thank you. Good to hear from you. Delighted you’ve connected to my blog. Fred… you should know that much of your manner reminded me of my Daddy.
You always seem to say the right thing at the right time. Bless you! Your Ian said it all in just a few kind words. Phyllis
Thank you Phyllis. I’m glad it blessed you.