Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:4
Did you ever notice that Jesus always seemed to have small children close to Him? They must have felt comfortable just hanging out with Him, and today’s verse zeros in on one of those little ones. That day, the disciples, were arguing about who was the most important. Maybe Peter started it off by telling everyone how he had walked on water – at least a few steps. Matthew could have mentioned that he had given Jesus the biggest party and of course John probably burst in by saying, “But he loves me the most!” While their debate raged on and they were trying to prove who was the best, they had not noticed a young boy who was listening – but Jesus did. Then Jesus took him by the hand and put him right into the middle of their circle and said, “This one (who you didn’t even notice) is the most important to God.“
Does that sound as familiar as your most recent family argument? Haven’t we all sometimes lost perspective on our attitude and the example we are setting? It is easy to get so worked up over the big important things we are doing for God, that we forget that what matters to Him the most is the “little people” around us. Often the little things we could do for them go undone because we are so busy trying to do “big things” for God. But to God there are no big or little things – no big or little people. What is big to God is whether we are doing the small things that He asks. Today people sometimes say, “Dream big!” with the focus on us. But God will never help us to do those “big things”, until we are willing to become like that child who simply wanted to be close to Jesus.
A few of my followers know that one part of our nursing home outreach is a weekly newsletter which is distributed in 8-9 different facilities in Florida and Western New York. Sunshine Newsletter is a collaboration between me, Pastor Janice Burnett and Rob Keller. Rob provides the layout and graphic design for every issue but sometimes he also submits a short article and last week’s piece was such a gem that I begged his permission to include it on my blog. I pray you will also be blessed as you think about the question that Rob must answer every day.
Can I Help You? by Rob Keller
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 NIV
“Can I help you?” – I hear this question daily because my disability is apparent. I struggle with many simple, everyday tasks. These challenges range from opening food packages to keeping my balance while walking on uneven terrain. Some things are impossible for me, no matter how hard I try. I cannot afford to be too proud to accept help because I can’t live without it. Each morning, the first thing I do is tell God how much I need His help. That prayer has never gone unanswered. God’s compassionate heart and great strength carry me through all my difficulties. I have learned to accept help with a grateful heart. I see the people who assist me each day as God’s agents and His love for me takes on flesh and bones. In the darkest days of my life, I have learned that our Lord is an ever-present help.
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a ESV
That is amazing! God is actively looking for opportunities to strengthen you, so you don’t have to beg and plead, hoping that He will answer. All He requires is that you ask Him and trust Him to provide the help that you need. When God asks, “Can I help you?” – what will you say?
Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir. Genesis 33:14 KJV
I love the scene from The Chosen, when Jacob’s sons are digging a well and a neighbor comes over to tell them they probably won’t find any water and then falls into a conversation with Jacob about God. You see no one had ever heard of the God of Israel because Jacob’s name had only recently been changed to Israel. So, the neighbor begins to ask what kind of god Jacob served. First, Jacob begins explaining that God created the universe, that He is invisible and that they do not have a statue of Him anywhere. But as their talk is coming to an end Jacob adds, “Oh yes and He broke my hip!” Now I personally have always found that fact pretty curious. Why would God do that? Maybe the Bible answers that question in this scene from the day after the hip breaking. Jacob had come to meet with his brother Esau and is both astonished and grateful for the mercy he encounters. And when I came to today’s verse I simply thought that Jacob was again dealing in half truth’s when he told his brother to go on ahead. But then I remembered why Jacob had to follow slowly. God had put his hip out of joint and we are told that Jacob walked with a limp because of that for the rest of his life.
Do you feel like God has broken your hip? Does it seem that other people can hurry ahead to do all kinds of exciting things, but your disability holds you back? But just as God did with Jacob, He has not caused us injury to harm us. Instead, God is teaching us to walk softly with the lambs. You see, all his life Jacob had been running. He always did everything he could to get ahead of everyone else. But after Jacob met with God, he lost his ability to run. God wanted Jacob to walk softly with the lambs, and just in case he forgot, he was given a limp. Every step reminded him to go at the pace that God had chosen. Maybe the limp in your life looks different than Jacob’s but when you struggle with that weakness and pain, remember that God has given us every one of His children a limp and each of us some lambs to care for until we finish our journey home.