The Little Big Things
By Harold and Bette Gillogly
Does God call you to do things too difficult for you to do? Or are they simple things that feel too difficult to do?
The prophet Elisha told Naaman, the mighty commander of Aram’s army, to simply go and wash 7 times in the Jordan River and he would be cured of leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-19). But his pride kept him from doing such a simple thing. But his officers confronted him with reason in 2 Kings 5:13 NLT (“Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’”) He listened and took their counsel, went to the Jordan River and washed seven times and was healed of his leprosy.
We have been impressed with 7 simple things God wants us to do. And we have been learning that those simple things are really the important things in this life. These are not “easy” things to do, in fact they may turn out to be very difficult, but God is always with us and helps us do the simple things. Here they are:
- Trust Him when we can’t see a solution (Ref. Prov. 3:5,6 – NLT Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.)
Our Thai foreign exchange student, Siya, needed to do an internship at the end of her college classes to finish her degree. An opportunity opened in Taiwan for a six month internship. Most of our family were scarred to death at the thought of her going to Taiwan with the geopolitical situation with China at the time. But God had convinced Siya that she was to go to Taiwan. And, sure enough, He did some life changing things in her while she was there. No one could deny the obvious spiritual growth we all saw in her through those six months. She knows God had called her to do this “simple thing.”
- Thank God in every circumstance for that is His will concerning you (Ref. 1 Thes. 5:18 (NLT) Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
We have been experiencing this challenge as Bette has been confined to the hospital for over 3 weeks. Though it seems a simple thing to do, “Be thankful in all circumstances,” it has been very difficult to thank God in the hospital given being bedridden, poking both arms to find veins for more IVs, eating hospital food with only 2 meat entrees of baked fish and hamburger patties. But God has shown us His grace and mercy through it all and allowed us to testify to others of it, for which we are thankful.
- Pray First – when faced with any challenge (Ref. Philippians 4:6,7 NLT Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Whenever you are tempted to worry, this is what you do:
- Pray about it FIRST
- Tell God what you need
- Thank Him for all He has done in the past
- THEN God’s peace will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus – and when God’s peace guards your heart and mind you will cease to worry. Try it and see.
- Take advantage of every opportunity to do good (Ref. Galatians 6:9,10 NLT So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.)
While we have had to spend those days in the hospital the past 3 weeks, we have had an outpouring of Christian love shown to us by people doing good things for us:
- Many friends brought us food and snacks to survive.
- Many friends visited us.
- Some friends gave us money to help with extra expenses.
- Some baked special treats for us like cookies with no gluten or eggs Bette’s allergic to.
- One friend bought Bette a few lounge outfits to wear in Rehab.
- One friend sat with Bette when Harold had to get some needed cardiovascular exercise.
- Many friends added us to their prayer list and lifted us to God regularly – This, of course, was the best “good” thing anyone could do.
- Praise God when it is hard (Ref. Psalm 34:1 I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.)
Listening to Christian music that lifts up God and exalts Him will help you do this simple thing as it lifts your soul.
- Hide God’s Word in our hearts so we won’t sin against Him (Ref. Psa. 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.)
Immerse yourself in God’s Word, studying, meditating and memorizing it so you will mature in Christ. Our church has a practice of memorizing Scripture each month that helps us live the Christian life and grow in maturity.
- Encourage others to have faith even when it is difficult (Ref. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing)
This practice puts others interest above your own (Philippians 2:3,4). When we focus on encouraging others through their struggles our own challenges seem to fade.
Romans 5:3-5 NLT We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Problems and Trials develops Endurance. Endurance develops Character. Character strengthens our Hope. And Hope results in God filling our hearts with His Love.