There is a wonderful song out right now by Francesca Battistelli called “This Is the Stuff.” She describes the little things in life that often drive us crazy such as losing our keys or cell phone. In our frustrations, we often forget how much we are blessed and that God is still on the move. It is a perfect reminder for me. It seems all too often it is those little things that stress me out and distract me from the bigger picture, purpose, and plan of Christ. I can too easily get bogged down in the fact that my house is dirty, my laundry and dishes never ending, and my “to do list” undone. Yet, if I remain buried under all the things I feel need to get accomplished in a day, or if I am focused solely on the thing(s) that are causing me undue stress and pressure, I set myself up to become ineffective for the ministry God has set before me. I want to encourage us all to seek His kingdom first and let everything else fall into place behind it (Matt. 6:33).
Luke 12:22-29 is a passage of Scripture that addresses worry and anxiety head on. God assures us that we shouldn’t be concerned about the small stuff such as what we are going to eat, drink, or wear. He takes care of the birds, and He will also take care of us because we are worth so much more. Verses 25 and 26 are the kicker for me. It says, “Can any of you add a cubit to his height by worrying? If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest?” The implication is that worrying accomplishes nothing. We can not add height to our stature by doing so. This is a small thing to God. That’s the part I love! He can make us grow, and this is a little thing to Him. The assurance is that the God who provides physically is more than capable of taking care of everything else in our lives. We simply have to realize that we have no control of anything. We often can not change the small stuff in life much less the bigger things. God reminds us, however, that that is okay. He is over the small and the great in our lives when we place our faith and trust in Him.
We were not created to work long hours, acquire money, go to the grocery store, make dinner, and crash in front of the television by 11:00 p.m. if we are lucky. Sure, some of these are things in life that we are responsible for doing, but they can not become what defines us or who we are. We were made to live in the presence of the Lord. In the Garden of Eden, we were in God’s presence perfectly. Because of sin, humans were forced out of God’s presence. His holiness can not even be around sin. If we have accepted Christ as our Savior, if we have given Him complete control over our lives and made Him Lord, we are once again able to be in God’s presence, however, because of the forgiveness that comes through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. We will not experience God’s presence fully until we are in heaven, but often we are not even experiencing it at all here on earth. Even in the craziness of our days, we must find time to focus on why we are here.
Scripture tells us time and time again that not only were we created to have a relationship with God and live in His presence worshipping Him, but we were created to tell the nations about the God who loves them. We were created to share the Gospel with the world around us (Joshua 4:24, 1 Chronicles 16:23-24, Matthew 28:19-20, and Galatians 3:14; just to barely scratch the surface of God’s love for the world.) These are the themes of God’s Word that flow from Genesis to Revelation. Scripture commands us to tell others about Christ no matter what our daily lives consist of. Thus, all of humanity has a grand purpose of being with God and helping others get to God through faith in Christ.
Our individual lives, though filled with similarities, are still very different. The way in which we carry out God’s plan for us is also specific. We are called to different areas and ministries as we seek to carry out the Great Commission. We discover God’s plan for our lives by praying, reading His Word, fellowshipping with other believers, and through our own experiences. Luke 11:9-10 says, “‘So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.'” Jesus is not hiding Himself from us. He will reveal to us what He wants us to do if we are asking and seeking His plan for our lives. Psalms 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” God’s word is like a flashlight in the dark. He will show us the way. We have to be in His Word absorbing the Scriptures to know the heart of God and what He has for us. Wisdom and direction come from Him. Colossians 3:16 reads, “Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.” When we are among fellow Christians we are able to glean wisdom from one another and also to hold each other accountable. We sharpen one another (Proverbs 27:17) and spur each other on (Hebrews 10:24). Finally, 2 Corinthians 2:12 tells us, “When I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ, a door was opened to me by the Lord.” Paul is giving a piece of his testimony about how God led him to Troas in order to share the Gospel. God opened the door. Sometimes, God closes doors. We must be in tune to our lives and seeking opportunities to serve. God will lead us along the way, and we will see situations present themselves. God will open doors for us to share the Gospel just like He did Paul.
You may be wondering how God and all of this fits in to your day when the baby is screaming, you’re tripping over toys, and dinner has not even been started. I am not asking you to add God to your “to do list.” Scripture is compelling each of us to seek Christ and give Him our “to do list.” We must allow Him to be the one who filters and prioritizes our lives. I am not saying abandon your family or your job. I am saying, however, that God is asking us to take time throughout the day to pause, to breathe, and to think about the one who paid it all for us. We have to take hold of the moments in our lives and praise God and seek His plan for us. It is not easy, but it is worth it. We do not want to reach the end of our lives and realize we have accomplished nothing for the cause of Christ. It is way too easy to hit the ground running in the morning and fall into bed at night without ever even having thought about the Lord. We have to make effort to pursue Him just like we make effort to be good wives, good parents, good employees, and good friends.
In closing, let me encourage you to not sweat the small stuff. Keep Christ and His Word at the forefront of your life, and remember the words of Francesca Battistelli:
“This is the stuff that drives me crazy.
This is the stuff that’s getting to me lately.
In the middle of my little mess,
I forget how big I’m blessed.
This is the stuff that gets under my skin,
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You’re doing.
It might not be what I would choose,
But this is the stuff You use.”
Thanks for reading. Be blessed!