Recently on the Antiques Roadshow programme on television, two guests had brought in examples of how something very small, had made a huge difference to their individual grandfather’s life, during the WW1. Firstly, a bullet had been fired into the chest of the lady’s grandfather, and it had hit a little book that he had kept in the pocket of his jacket. It left its mark in the book, but the man had survived. The second guest had brought in something of a similar nature and explained how a bullet had been fired hitting his grandfather’s pocket watch. The bullet was still there wedged in the clock’s metal face. Because of that intervention, a life was saved. This British soldier was medically trained, and after the war went on to save many more lives as a doctor. These are amazing stories.
Consider for a moment the significance of small things. For God the small is never insignificant. Remember the story of David and the giant Goliath. Because the heavily armed Philistine giant was so enormous and frightening, none of the Israelite soldiers dare go up to fight him. Young David the shepherd boy, on the other hand, wasn’t afraid. It wasn’t by a mighty swing of the sword that he used to slay the mighty giant, but rather just one of the 5 pebbles he took in his sling. In fact, David refused to wear all the soldier’s army of protection, instead he trusted God and knew he would be safe (1 Samuel Ch.17).
The story of the feeding of the 5,000 is another example of the significance of the small. Jesus was up on a mountainside with his disciples. A great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous things he had done. Jesus took compassion on the crowd and wanted to provide some food for them. The disciples said there were too many folks around to feed. However, one young boy had a picnic with him, and he willingly gave this food, just 5 barley loaves and 2 fish, to Jesus, who then asked God’s blessing upon the small offering and the result was enough food to feed the large number of people, with some left over (John Ch.6).
Most of us will have heard of the saying, “It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack”. We’ve lost something and it is so small we think we will never find it. A needle isn’t very big and yet thinking of Dorcas, also known as Tabitha, we see how she used her ability with a needle to bless people. As a widow, she spent many hours sewing garments and making clothes for other widows and the poor. When she died everyone mourned her death because she was so loved and respected for her kindness (Acts Ch. 9).
Just one tiny pebble, a small basket of food, and a needle and yet what a difference they made.
It is sometimes said, that small is beautiful, and it often is. There again, it may not be. In life there are certain things that irritate us, they may only be small but can be very upsetting.
However, even small irritations in life can result in character growth. The oyster provides a meaningful lesson. Irritations get into the shell of an oyster. If the creature can’t get rid of the piece of grit or grain of sand, then it uses the pesky irritations to make a beautiful pearl. Incredible isn’t it?
Each of us have irritations in our lives which often cannot be removed. If this happens then there is only one answer and that is to make it into a pearl. Perhaps a Pearl of Patience or a Pearl of a Sympathetic heart.
Just to make you smile, we all need to be careful with our punctuation. I try my best and get it wrong at times, but a good example is, “let’s eat grandma”, missing a comma makes all the difference. Obviously it should read, “Let’s eat, grandma”.
Another good one is, “I love cooking my family and pets.” When the commas are added it gives a totally different meaning. “I love cooking, my family, and pets.”
Only a small dot but a big difference.
In comparison to the size of the universe we are like a grain of sand. However, we too can make a difference. What’s irritating you right now? Why not, with God’s help, make it into a Pearl!
28 11 23