The greatness of God is in the everyday little things we sometimes miss because we are waiting for Him to do something big in our lives. One thing that stood out in my study of Elijah’s life was that God is primarily found in a humble heart’s gentle whispering and quietness. Our small, faithful steps lead to great miracles through our obedience. The notes in the ESV Study Bible for I Kings 17:13-16, where God uses Elijah to perform a miracle for the widow, say that faith is the step between promise and assurance. We may only see the solution once we take the first step of faith.
We can sometimes allow our fear to keep us from stepping out in faith; I know I have been guilty of that. But I began to realize that every hero in the Bible is a regular person, just like you and me, fears and all. You might say that heroes are everyday people with courage. They fear, but they don’t let it stop them. God supplies the courage in their obedience.
Hebrews 11 lists the heroes of faith. If we re-read each of their stories, the common denominator is faith in God, even if it initially took some convincing. They did not start with confidence but were tested, and their faith grew. Under God’s instructions, Joshua led a group of people around Jericho until the walls fell. Do you think they understood the purpose of circling it in that precise manner or just trusted God with the outcome?
And what about Moses? He did not want to be God’s mouthpiece. He pleaded for God not to send him because he was not a man of eloquent speech. God allowed his brother Aaron to speak for him, but he still sent Moses (Ex. 4:10-11, ESV).
We can see through the Gospels that the twelve disciples did not have it all together from the beginning and did not always understand what Jesus was doing. We are given stories showing their unbelief in many situations, even after Jesus performed miracles. In the Gospel of Mark, he records at least two times that Jesus sighed because of the suspicions and hardheartedness of people due to the Fall. In one instance, Jesus looked to heaven and sighed as He healed a deaf man (Mark 7:34, ESV). And again, when the Pharisees demanded a sign, he sighed deeply in His spirit (Mark 8:12, ESV). I can only imagine how many times I make Jesus sigh. But as with the disciples in those days, Jesus continually teaches me to trust Him more, strengthening my faith through tests and trials. We must go through the valley to get to the mountaintop. But, oh, the view once we arrive! In my experience, I appreciate the mountaintops more after going through some valleys.
When the father of a boy possessed with an unclean spirit said to Jesus, “if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us” (Mark 9:22, ESV). Jesus replied, “If I can! All things are possible for one who believes” (9:23, Emphasis mine). The boy’s father then asks Jesus to give him a heart that believes more firmly, “help my unbelief” (9:24, ESV).
Jesus expressed emotions because He was fully human. As God, He sincerely wanted His people to believe and trust Him without requiring a sign every time. We often get caught up in figuring out what God is doing, and we forget that it is the being that matters. Being with God is what He wants most from us. As we crave time with God, wherever we are, whatever circumstance we are in, we can experience peace because the Great I AM is with us.
The speed bumps in life force us to slow down, pay attention, and appreciate what God is doing in our lives right now. We can also be so caught up in doing things for God that we can miss the importance of being with God. Each moment of every day is a gift, don’t waste it worrying about what will happen tomorrow. I am the one who needs this advice the most. Some days my longing to serve in other ways and figure out where God is leading me in the future may be keeping me from serving where I am today; in those times, I may miss the blessings right in front of me. I know you have probably heard the phrase ‘bloom where you are planted’ before,but I think it is worth repeating as a reminder and a prayer. Our faith is shown in our actions, but we won’t know what to do if we are not intentionally making time to be with God.
“Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27, ESV Emphasis mine).