The little things

Have you ever felt like a request you have is simply too little to bother God about?

Earlier this week, while I was in the hospital with my dad, he told me that he’d really like a big straw. Since he was having such a hard time talking, this request was a big deal to me, but, let’s be real, in the scheme of life who really cares about a big straw???

God does. GOD DOES.

After striking out two days in a row in the hospital cafeteria and with our floor nurses, I asked a woman in scrubs who was waiting for an elevator in the lobby. “Do you know where I could find a big straw for my dad?”

Her response blew my mind, “Sure, if you can get off on the fourth floor with me, I’ll get you one. My floor provides them for the patients.”

Five minutes later, I was the proud owner of not only a big flexible straw, but also a 1,000 ml marked plastic mug.

I returned to my dad’s room, calling out, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad,” with tears in my eyes.

God sees us. God hears us. And God cares about us. He is God over the little things like big straws.

How have you seen God provide for you in the little things? I’d love to hear your story of PRAISE!

Is there something today that you are seeking God for? I’d love to join you in prayer!

Leave a comment below.

TWIG

Of Big and Little Acts of Service

As I shared in yesterday’s post, love compels service … which leads me to a new trail of thoughts.

I wonder, is my dad only interested in the big things that I can do for him? Are the doctors with a dozen years of education who correctly prescribe just the right medication more valuable than the nurse who correctly draws his blood?

Incredibly, just now, while I’m writing this and waiting to board a plane back home, with my dad still in his hospital bed, the flight attendant announced that our plane is having some mechanical issues.

I realize how critically important a good pilot is, but realistically is a good plane mechanic any less essential?

I know that answering my dad’s questions about faith and asking God to hear my cries for mercy truly are valuable acts of service, but do I believe that sitting in silence, holding his hand while he sleeps, is valuable in God’s eyes?

Surely reading Psalm 23 aloud and talking about the hope of Heaven with Jesus is of immense value, but how about cutting up my dad’s food into manageable bites?
Sometimes as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mama, it can feel like the daily chores, loading the dishwasher and washing the laundry and cooking the dinner is worthless … and yet I hope that I can do my work as unto the Lord, pointing my children’s eyes to the blessings of dishes and laundry and food … and of work.
Sometimes as a Christian speaker and writer, it can feel like reaching one hurting soul isn’t as important as speaking to the multitudes.
So today, let’s remind ourselves that God values our little acts of love and service, as well as our big ones. He sees us. He cares. And He is able to multiply our fish and loaves and mites and talents as we offer them up to Him.

TWIG

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10-11)
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:3-8)
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

Compelling Love

I’m thankful that many of you were blessed by my post yesterday. I hope that my thoughts today will also be an encouragement.

In the last week while my dad’s been hospitalized, I’ve rubbed lotion on his hands, sat silently next to him just holding his hand, and helped him walk to the bathroom or find the right word to say when he’s struggling. We’ve played tic-tac-toe together and done simple physical therapy tasks like reaching up high and flexing his wrists. I’ve encouraged my dad to count to ten, and sign his name, and sing the ABC’s. I’ve helped him decide what to order for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then arranged his plate with just half of a sandwich and a few strawberries and a handful of chips so he’s not overwhelmed by too much food.
And I wonder, do I think that he’ll love me more if I do them … or that he’ll love me less if I don’t? No. No. Of course I don’t.
Rather, my deep love for my earthly father *compels* me to serve him. I have a profound sense of gratitude toward my parents. My parents cared for me when I had nothing to give them. And now I’m honored to be able to serve them, in just a small measure of the way they served me. I *want* to take care of them.
Serving my dad is not a burden. It is a joy.
And this relationship makes me think of my relationship with my Heavenly Father. My Heavenly Father loved me while I was still a sinner. He came after me while I was running away from Him. Like the hymn says, He loved me e’re I knew Him.
The gratitude and love that I have for God is immeasurable. It’s like Paul wrote, the love of Christ compels me. (2 Corinthians 5:14) I *want* to serve God because I love Him so much.
If you do not feel that compelling love to serve God, let me encourage you to search your own heart. Those who have been forgiven much, love much. Take a minute and think about the depth of your own sin and how much you need a Savior. Then, consider the great price that Jesus paid to rescue you, shedding his own blood on the cross in your place – so you could have eternal life through Him.
If none of this makes sense to you, I’d love to chat. I’d love to serve Jesus side-by-side with an army of brothers and sisters. Let’s love God and love others because He loved us first.
TWIG
“For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8)
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”(Ephesians 2:4-9)

The Love of a Father

I’ve been staying with my dad in the hospital for almost a week now.

Yesterday, during a moment of clarity, my dad communicated to the doctors that he’s feeling sad because he was intelligent, well-spoken and able-bodied, but now he is struggling to even say a sentence or walk to the bathroom with a walker. Later yesterday afternoon, after a game of Tic-Tac-Toe, he started crying because he had been a champion bridge player.

And then it hit me.

I love my dad just as much today as when he wrote 100-page legal briefs and solved impossible math problems.

I love my dad just as much today as when he built a custom-made island in our kitchen and rigged up a light so we could know when the garage door was open.

I don’t care if he can put on his own socks.

I don’t care if he knows what year it is or what city he’s in.

He’s my dad and I love him.

And then another truth hit me.

That’s how God loves me.

God doesn’t love me because of what I have to offer Him. He doesn’t love me because I’m intelligent, well-spoken and able-bodied.

He just loves me because He loves me.

I’m His daughter and He’s my good, good Father. Thank You, Father, for making me Your daughter, and for making Emil George Trott, Jr. my earthly dad.

“[Jesus] came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:11-13)

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1)

“[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Timothy 1:9)

“[God] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5)

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)