What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:9-11)
This afternoon as I was reading and writing God’s Word, God reminded me that in His Kingdom, a little goes a long way. A little seed. A little faith. A little leaven. What may begin as something little–once placed in God’s hands–becomes something magnificent. Even when it comes to sowing and reaping, Jesus Himself reminds us “Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much…” (Luke 16:10). In God’s Kingdom, it is indeed the little things that matter most.
As I reflected on the significance of those little things, God reminded me of something I wrote several years ago. He has actually in recent weeks been bringing to mind a variety of things I have written in years past. And as I have read my former writings, I am again reminded He is faithful–always faithful.
Below is an instance of His faithfulness I recorded over 12 years ago; at the time I was teaching high school English. I thought I’d post it today because it is one of my favorite stories of His faithfulness to me His daughter–His faithfulness to give good (and tasty!) things to those who ask Him.
He Sent Me Ice Cream by Me
The little things in life are extremely important to me. Since I was young people have always commented on the unique tidbits of information I latch onto, especially when it comes to those things that make others smile. For instance, I have a friend who loves his toast cut on the diagonal. Many people get an inquisitive look upon their faces as they think, “Is that really important to know?” I say, yes, it is. It is because it is something my friend likes; it makes him happy. Therefore, I remember it, and if I ever get a chance to make him toast or a sandwich, I will be sure to cut it on the diagonal.
In the same way I as a person can encourage someone with the “little things” in life, God also encourages His children with the “little things” in life. Why the quotes around those two simple words? Because I believe that, with God, everything is important. He desires His children to be happy. What parent doesn’t? If it makes us happy and is not contrary to His Word, then of course God wants to bless us. It is this very aspect—God’s care for all things in my life—His faithfulness—that I write about today.
I love to read. I love novels. I love instructional books. Most of all, however, I love God’s Word. Since I became a Christian in 1995, I’ve always taken the time to read God’s Word. In recent years, this time has been in the morning. I am a morning person, so getting up early to read is easier than trying to stay up late. The few times I’ve tried to move my devotion time to the latter part of the day, my prayers have ended with . . . well, they’ve never really ended officially (unless I can call falling asleep good closure). About three weeks ago, however, God impressed upon me that He wanted me to do things a little differently. He wanted me to continue to read and to pray in the morning, but He also wanted me to read during my lunch at work and at night before I went to bed. Knowing God as faithful and more than able to give me the strength to remain awake, I began doing so.
The first day I implemented my new regimen, God demonstrated His faithfulness—even more, His faithfulness in the “little things.” While I read His Word during lunch, I snacked on tuna fish. Anyone who has had tuna fish will know that it does not last too long. In fact, by the end of fourth period (less than 55 minutes after eating lunch), I was starving. All I could think about was having a bowl of ice cream. Nevertheless, being a teacher, I could not leave my upcoming fifth period while I went to the store to buy some. God, however, being the faithful provider He is, and a rewarder of those who seek Him, found another way to bless me.
One of the little duties of my job as teacher is to stand outside my door and make sure my students get to class promptly and safely. Therefore, during the five minutes between my fourth and fifth periods, I took my position to the right of my door and greeted students as they entered my classroom. As I stood outside my door (attempting to ignore my impoverished stomach’s grumbling), one of my first period students who has fifth period in the room adjacent to mine, came up to me with a bowl. This was not just a bowl, though; it was a bowl of ice cream! Even more, it was a chocolate brownie covered with ice cream and syrup and toppings! She held the bowl out for me to take and asked if I would like it. For a second I stared in disbelief at the delicacy within my reach. Once I realized that it was not a mirage but a real bowl, I immediately (not hiding my ecstasy) accepted the generous gift. All my student said when she handed it to me was that her previous class was having an ice cream party and something (I translate this “something” as God) told her that I would like a bowl.
I could barely contain the excessive joy permeating my entire being. I was extremely excited (and awfully stuffed once I devoured the delicious dessert). God cared so much for me that He brought me a bowl of ice cream when I needed the sustenance. Even more, He exceeded my expectations and added a brownie and toppings!
Since then, God has continued to reveal to me His undying devotion to the well-being of His children. Just as He clothes the fields with grass and provides food and shelter for the birds, He also ensures that the needs of His children are met. Yet, His faithfulness does not cease at the needs—the basics; He goes beyond. He cares about the “little things” in life. He cares about what makes His children smile.
That day He could have let me go hungry. He could have brought me an apple—to satisfy the stomach and nourish the body. But He didn’t. He brought me what He new I wanted—the “little thing” that would make me happy. He sent me ice cream.
He sent me ice cream. Ice cream! Ice cream to me as a young professional was like Starbucks is to me now: a love language. This means God demonstrated His love for me by sending me His love in frozen form. Sure, ice cream may not have meant much to some, but it meant the world to me, and God–God who knows my heart more than I know my heart–was well aware that something as “little” as ice cream (and a brownie!) would be just what I needed to keep on keeping on, to keep pressing forward, and to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.
And if you know Jesus, then He who is in you is greater as well. Even more, He loves you just as much as He does me, and is more than willing to demonstrate His love for you in ways both big and small. So keep on keeping on, my friend, with full confidence that He who promised is faithful–yes, faithful in all things, especially the “little.”
“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).