I used to make a list of all the small and big things that God did (or is doing) in my life. But now I know there are no small things. Everything that God does is big because He's a big God who isn't limited to the world's definitions.
I was reminded this week of a situation that happened in college.
A few of my sorority sisters were participating in a step-dancing competition in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, so my friends and I decided that we were going to drive there from Atlanta to support them. I absolutely love road trips, so of course, I volunteered to drive my car.
Before we left, I got an oil change from a cheap place that was recommended by a friend. The place looked legit, and I was a broke college student, so I was happy to get a good deal.
The day after we got back from the trip, as I was driving home, the steering wheel of my car locked up and I couldn't maneuver it. It was the scariest thing ever.
A few (long) seconds later, my car just stopped in the middle of the street. Omg. Omg, what do I do? Panicking and not knowing what to do, I called my mom. Mind, she was all the way in Maryland and could do absolutely nothing for me, but she's mommy so she must have the answer, right?
I tried to explain to her what happened. And then I noticed that the oil light and check engine light was on. What? I just got an oil change.
My mom told me to call the place where I got the oil change, so I did. They towed my car and brought it back to their shop to see what the problem was.
Turns out I had an oil leak that caused the engine to fail, which is why my car shut down. All of this was due to negligence from the place that gave me an oil change before the trip.
Note to self: don't always take the "cheaper" option. Lesson learned.
The company had to replace my engine. I didn't have to pay for it, but I was frustrated because I didn't live on campus, had a job, and was out of a car for two weeks.
No, they didn't cover a rental and I was underage.
Here's the miracle, though, I drove with 4 other people to Louisiana and back (about 18 hours roundtrip) with an unknown oil leak. At any moment, my car could've caught on fire, but we made it there and back without being harmed.
That's God's keeping power!
When I was thinking about that story this week, I realized that God brought it back to my remembrance to reveal to me my own heart. I was grumbling in my mind about some prayers that haven't been answered yet.
And God was like, "Your focus is in the wrong place. Count your blessings."
So often we get frustrated because some of our prayers haven't been answered yet and we fail to see all the things that God has continually been blessing us with. God does so many things in the background to protect us, provide for us, and guide us, and more other than not, we don't even recognize what He's done for us.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1
In Greek, the word evidence, elegchos, simply means proof or test. If we always saw everything that we hoped for when we hoped for it, we wouldn't need faith. Our faith is proved when we can believe what we do not see ... yet.
God never takes a day off. Just because you don't see the fruits of your labor yet, doesn't mean things aren’t happening in the background for your good.
When we begin to count our blessings and focus on the things that God is already doing in our everyday lives, we'll begin to increasingly see more of His action.
"But how do we know which things are God at work in our lives?" you might ask. If I'm honest, that was a question I had. And God gave me the following scripture:
"Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." - James 1:17
God's character is good because He is good and never changes. So, because He created the entire universe and everything in it, all that's good is Him at work.
Keep hope alive, friends! And give thanks for the "small" things because, through the lens of God, they're actually big things.
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You were born to do great things. Count your blessings.