03 February 2015

The Small and Simple

4 The Lord gave me this message: 
5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
    Before you were born I set you apart
    and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
 
6 “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” 
7 The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 8 And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” 9 Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, 
“Look, I have put my words in your mouth!
10 Today I appoint you to stand up
    against nations and kingdoms.
Some you must uproot and tear down,
    destroy and overthrow.
Others you must build up
    and plant.”
 
~Jeremiah 1

The Lord God truly does choose those who are considered unfit, or unworthy, according to the wisdom of the flesh, to fulfill His purposes. Wild men in the wilderness, youths, women.
Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. ~Alma 37:6
Our God truly does use the smallest, simplest, and least powerful things to bring about His purposes. One of the defining characteristics of abuse is excessive force. God isn't an abusive parent--He never uses excessive force. We mortals love an opulent display of power, a strutting display for all to witness. And yet, God doesn't strut or puff out His chest, speaking most often into my mind and heart with a still, small voice.

It's hard to grasp just what it is that God calls me, calls each of us, to do. He has plans for us so incredible, so filled with love and joy and His presence . . . and yet He often brings those plans about in ordinary, simple ways. Things like loving our families, using our hands to do everyday things like shake someone's hand, wave in greeting, or pick up something dropped unawares. Simple gestures can allow His love and power to rush in and change a life. The smallest shift can bring redemption into the heart of man.

Lord, I am Yours. I know I say that a lot, and I think I'm still pretty lousy at it. But I want to proclaim it over and over, and remind myself every moment of every day, so I can practice being Yours like I would practice the piano, with repetition, focus, and joy. Open my eyes to see You moving in the lives of those around me, Lord, to see the small and simple things You use, and make use of me however You choose. I trust You, King of Heaven's Armies, to make so much more of me than I ever could of myself. In Jesus' name, amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!