The Big Picture


While it's easy for us to focus simply on the things around us, God always sees the entire story.

A calling to be small is not a calling to be insignificant.

The Biggest Little Things

Caesar Augustus was a big shot. In the estimation of the world, he was the one with the power. He could enforce his will on the people under his rule. He could call all the shots. He could disrupt lives with his demands. Big shot. From heaven, he didn’t look so big. He looked small and shallow. He thought he was big, but he was really very small. Dictating and demanding as if he ran the world, little Caesar found himself a tool in God’s hands. His ruling had no lasting effect in history except that it moved all the players into place and situated everyone for the birth of Jesus. Big shots plan their big shot plans and rule as big shots in their little worlds, but God is Ruler over all. All the time.  Heaven has a different measuring stick than earth.

Sometimes we are called to small, even perhaps humbling, moments of obedience. Obedience that calls on us to die to all pride and embrace the power of small. In the moment, it is hard to believe that God designed this, or that it could be elevated in any way. We can’t extrapolate from the small obedience what grand outcome it might have, but we can know by faith that every obedience matters. It might be grooming us, or giving us needed experience, or simply conquering flesh that is fed by pride. But it matters.

If we are performing humble tasks for no other purpose than to obey and serve the Lord, then all tasks are transformed. If a manger, hidden from the view of all but a few, can become the birthplace of the King, then nothing God calls us to is servile. Rather, it is a privilege and we are honored by the call.

Gideon’s 10,000 became 300. Supplies were being taken away, and faith was growing stronger. Funny how that works. The old, small Gideon had become Gideon, the mighty warrior. The Gideon who had defined himself as too small and insignificant for the call had learned the power of a Big God. So, when the Lord gave him the battle plan—the puny little battle plan that entailed trumpets and empty jars and torches—he didn’t bat an eye. He was ready to take on the whole enemy’s army and pit his small against their big.

Though a seed is the sole keeper of the possibilities for any given plant, it is unimaginably small. The contrast of the beginning—the seed—and the full grown plant almost defies belief. Jesus points out that it is the smallest seed that grows the largest plant. Is there a clearer description of the power of small? A seed must be planted before its potential can be realized. Until it is planted, it is a curiosity, a possibility. But once it finds good ground, it starts to send out roots and then to send up shoots. It grows progressively and its growth starts underground and out of sight. Like faith. Faith grows by planting it and letting it put down roots. Faith has to have time to mature. It has to be deliberately sown into the ground. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be put to use.

This content taken from the book The Power of Small by Jennifer Kennedy Dean.

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