Wednesday, October 01, 2008
The God of Small Things
Moving to a new country requires a certain amount of faith - some might say a great amount - but I'm finding that the faith the Lord requires is no less in the small things. In the past couple days, I've been blessed with a deeper understanding of the faith-filled relationship God desperately desires.
I just finished reading books by Elisabeth Eliot and Isabel Kuhn. Have you ever been in a place where you look at someone else's faith and say, "When God was dishing out faith, why'd she get such a big helping?" To be honest, it wasn't jealousy I felt, just a bit of resignation. Though I was reading and believing God for the faith he gave these two remarkable ladies, I was still meeting Him in the morning with sleepy eyes and a tired heart.
Well, last Sunday on the way home from church, we stopped for groceries at La Colonia (Honduran grocery chain). I ride with my church groupies Hayley and Tiffany in Tiffany's car every Sunday. As we're leaving, Tiffany gave her keys to Hayley to open the trunk to put our groceries away.
Everything seemed fine until the key did not come out. The only key on the ring was for the ignition and the trunk opens by a button. So, picture this: we are in the grocery parking lot, none of us are fluent in Spanish, our usual fourth (and fluent) church groupie went to the early service, and we have no idea where we are or how to tell someone to find us.
We jiggled, coaxed, consoled, lamented, brainstormed... asked two taxi-drivers and a worker for help, listened to scattered advice about oils and mechanics and directions to a place that wasn't open on Sunday, and heard endless solicitations for rides.
Hayley called Elisabeth (fourth, fluent groupie) to try to figure out how to have someone pick us up when Elisabeth responded, "This has happened before and here's the solution: pray and jiggle." Hayley told Tiffany, who of course had been jiggling. And in my mind I said, I am praying!! I was already on to the backup plan: let's call someone and figure out how to get them here so we can make a new key and tie down the trunk and go up the mountain and ....
But, Elisabeth was insistent on the phone: "Really, you need to pray and jiggle. Trust me, just pray."
As Hayley was relaying this same information to Tiffany, she closed her eyes and was about to give a final shove when the key all but dropped into her hand.
I know this story is hard to read from your side of the computer screen, but as we screamed delight into the phone and jumped into the toasty seats, I started to find perspective in the small things.
Nothing surprises God.
No accident, death, lottery winner, winning sports team, mountain climber, or new scientific discovery surprises our Sovereign Creator. His hand is in it all.
So, when I think about the 'huge' faith of some of my Christian heroes, I wonder at the little tests of obedience. Maybe a mustard seed is an obedient heart - a heart that prays about keys and conversations, impulse buys and interesting flowers.
Maybe the hearts of my heroes are made up of layers upon layers of these types of prayers - prayers that invite God to be Lord over the details.