Thursdays Thoughts - It's the Small Things In Life
In my relationship with God, I’ve always been looking for that “big moment” with God or the moments where I can really feel the presence of God. These are great and something that God wants for us. But I feel like a lot of the time as Christians we can get so caught up looking for those moments that we miss so much stuff that God is doing in our lives. Since being in lockdown this has been what God has been speaking to me about.
In my times of prayer, especially since lockdown has started, I’ve noticed that the things I’ve been praying for are always big things. Like asking God to intervene in the global crisis we are all in, or for a revival in our country. Now these are great things to be praying for. But, it never really crossed my mind to pray for the small things like; that my day would go well, that I would get a good night's sleep. These things and many more small things are things that God cares about for us. This is something that during one of my quiet times God really spoke clearly to me about.
It was during the week in which I had to self isolate for 7 days due to some mild symptoms that could have been Covid. I was sitting in my room by the window which looks out onto St Aldates Church and Pembroke college. I was just having a moment away from screens and admiring the weather that I couldn’t go out and enjoy. I was wondering when it would be possible next for us to be able to walk through the doors of St Aldates and meet together again. I was feeling low and confined. But I started praying and as I try to do everytime I pray, I started by thanking God for things. And as I thanked God for things like the beautiful weather, the birds that are chirping, the fact that I have access to food and clean water. I felt like God was saying to me “Stop, be still and see the things that I do everyday that you could easily miss, notice them, I care about the small things in your life as well as the big things.” This reminded me of the part in Psalm 46 where it says “Be still and know that I am God”. Being still and noticing where God is in my day really encourages me.
That moment really changed the way I viewed my time in lockdown since. At the start I felt really gloomy about the whole situation. Now I’ve been looking out for the small things that God does in my everyday life. And in my prayers I’ve been praying about the small things too. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been praying for the “big things”. I have, I’ve just added the smaller prayers to my times of prayer. It’s been a real blessing and now I view lockdown as a time where I can get to know God in a whole new way.
The book of Ruth is a great example for God caring about our everyday life. There is no massive event in Ruth like; the parting of the Red Sea or miraculous healings. It’s a beautiful story. If I had one recommendation of a video to watch today it would be the Bible Projects overview of the book of Ruth (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h1eoBeR4Jk) and then I’d go read the book itself. It’s only 4 chapters long so it doesn’t take long to read at all but it just shows how God is at work in everyday life.
There is a great part of the “Rule of Life” handbook that St Aldates made that is called Examen. You can find this on the St Aldates website. It is a great way of reflecting on your day and asking yourself, where was God present today? Along with some other reflections that have helped me when thinking about where God is in the small things.
So I’d recommend to take 10 minutes, take away any distractions, find somewhere you can concentrate and be still. Ask yourself where has God been in my day today? And thank God for what he is doing in your life, no matter how small the thing is, thank him for it.