“If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent the night with a mosquito.” – African proverb
They say it’s the little things that kill. But, when you’ve faced the big things — job loss, cancer, divorce, wild kids, broken homes, pain, loss loss, life — I’m sure the little things will truly feel little.
And yet, it can be these “little things” that are the straw that breaks this woman’s back. When my husband had cancer and I was pregnant, it was a gas pump that refused to cooperate with my running-late schedule to pick up my child that gave proof of it.
As if I have all the time in the world to walk into a gas station like a barbarian and pay a human for this gas? Or deal with a start. Stop. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. Of the pump.
I stood on the side of the pump where there were no humans (or so I thought) and threw the adult version of a fit — silent scream, pregnant and all. When I looked up from my fit, stood a wide-eyed man who avoided my eyes and shuffled into the store. Not my finest moment.
I hadn’t yelled at the nurse who told us Scott’s blood counts were probably too bad for chemo or the doctor who said he needed 12 rounds of chemo or any of the other 1,000 heart-crushing things. But, this gas pump — it received my full wrath of a thousand disappointments.
At 39 years old, I knew that I needed to deal with the big stuff, or the little stuff would kill me. And by kill me, I mean my spirit, my witness, my forward momentum, my present peace.
When the little things send me into a tailspin, I know it’s time to look deeper. To look at this flawed human heart, my need to hold tight to control — of big futures and little gas pumps.
This week my mom recovers from a mastectomy and we lost a family member from my husband’s side — his second mother. Deep, hard, holy grieving processes.
But, it’s the little things that kill joy, too. And Jesus came to give us victory over it all.
Like the children in my old Sunday School class praying for “little things” (sick goldfish and 4th grade spelling tests) — and us welcoming that kind of faith and hope and confidence of the intimate knowledge, care and sweetness our savior has for every single element of our lives — today, give Him the big things and the little things.
He knows every messy strand of hair that needs to be highlighted. He cares for the little bird chirping at my window too early in the morning. And He cares for every single detail of my life.
The key, I’m learning, is opening my incapable human hands, releasing my futile grip and placing the big and the small things into the hands of the one who crafted the universe, hung the stars and formed me in the womb.
When I feel the frustration I will speak this verse: “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? Yet not one of them has [ever] been forgotten in the presence of God. Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are far more valuable than many sparrows.” – Luke 12:6-7
Amanda Elliott is a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, wife, mom, business owner and Benton resident. She believes we are each “built to battle” by a perfect creator who made us with a capacity for victory, a handbook for success (the Bible) and a spirit who empowers us to live in peace and joy. Follow Amanda Elliott’s “Built to Battle” column at www.mysaline.com/amanda.