How many times do we miss the intricate beauty of small things in our search for the big?
Last week I made my way along a North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway anticipating the expansive sweep of scenic mountain vistas decorated in their vibrant autumn hues of red and gold. From my car window I spied an opening where the mountains and valleys were awash with color.
Unfortunately, at that spot there was no place to pull over, but I was happy to find one of the many overlook pullouts just a short distance down the road. I was disappointed, however, to find that the view I had observed from my car window was obscured at the overlook. No problem! I grabbed my camera and hiked back along the road I had come, intent on finding that sweeping mountain view. But as I trudged through wet leaves and weeds in my search for the big panorama, I discovered a tiny gem hiding in the dirt and weeds. A little bud of a wildflower I did not recognize was peeping up amongst the weeds in the ditch.
I paused to observe and capture its delicate charm with my zoom lens, and I was reminded once again that I should never pass over the beauty of small things in my search for the big. Mountaintop views are not the only place to find beauty. If we keep our eyes open, sometimes we are surprised by little treasures hiding in the ditches of life.
“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God” (Psalm 15:1-2a NIV).
“CARRY ME!” I looked at the trusting eyes and outstretched arms of my two-year-old second cousin Michelle; and without hesitation, I did what she asked. When I saw the frailty of Michelle’s leukemia-ridden body, there wasn’t anything that I wouldn’t have done for her.
It was summer 1975, and my family was in South Carolina for a few days of vacation with relatives. On this particular day, we had taken Michelle and her grandmother to visit a distant cousin. While the adults chatted inside the house, my sister and I entertained Michelle with a game of hide-and-seek in the yard. But Michelle’s weakened state caused her to tire easily and prompted her request to be carried.
Later, in the car, as Michelle’s childish voice sang the words, “Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong,” I thought how true it was for Michelle.
It was then that it dawned on me what Christ meant when He said, “Unless you become as little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” He wants us all to have the simple trust of a child that recognizes her own weakness and who relies solely on a greater strength.
I haven’t forgotten that lesson in trust, and so I often whisper, “Lord, I’m weak, but You’re strong, so . . . please, carry me!” I rest assured knowing that I am sheltered in His loving arms.
Thought for the day:Trust is surrendering ourselves completely into God’s arms without trying to get down and walk on our own strength.
(This devotional first appeared in Light from the Word, Fall 1989, Vol. 38, No. 1., published by Wesleyan Publishing House, P.O. Box 50434, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250.)