The Smallest Things Can Have The Biggest Impact

For those of you that don’t know me, I love coffee. I love the taste. I love the warmth. I love the smell. I love it in the morning. I love it in the evening. I love it here and there. I love it anywhere. I would not, I could not, go a morning without my coffee. And yes, I would drink it with Green Eggs and Ham!!

Are you ready for this?  I am not drinking the thing I love so much. I’m currently fasting coffee. I’ve been on strict fasts before, but this one has been a challenge. Not only because of my coffee addiction, but because my daily habits and routines have come to a crashing halt. My motivation to…..well….to do just about everything plummeted below sea level. The first few days I thought I might actually wake up in Heaven! Cause of death: coffee withdrawals.

While I take a light hearted approach to the narrative of my fasting woes, my heart was heavy with sadness regarding a personal matter…the matter I have taken to fasting and prayer. But I was still foreboding over the potential for an undesirable outcome. My mind was diligently trying to prepare me for ‘What If’ this, or ‘What If’ that. The issue I am praying about doesn’t seem like it will have a desirable outcome: not according to what I am hearing or feeling. So my husband says something I’ve heard a billion times before: simple yet profound; short and sweet.

“So stop looking at what you see, hear and feel. Look at this situation through the eyes of Faith.”

This resonated with me!! This commonly regurgitated notion of living by faith and not by sight was exactly what I needed to catapult me to freedom (2 Corinthians 5:7)! It was this small, simple sentence that has had the biggest impact on my mindset. Being anxious about it was bringing me lower than my coffee withdrawals, and worrying won’t change one thing. But faith will!

Faith gives me hope that no matter the outcome, God is in control; that He loves me and my family more than I do; that He has good plans for us; that all things work together for my good; that He knows the desires of my heart. THIS is faith speaking now. No more what ifs.

I don’t know what the outcome will be, but seeing my situation through faith gives me peace about an unknown future.

Don’t be afraid to share some short and sweet spiritual encouragement to someone. It’s bigger than what you might think. And don’t underestimate the ‘small’ sacrifices you make. Let’s get back to my coffee, shall we? I’m only fasting coffee: nothing else. To you, this may seem small: but to me it’s huge, and God knows it. Regardless of the outcome of my circumstance, I know that great fruit will come forth out this time of fasting, prayer and reading His Word. God recognizes and honors our sacrifices, no matter how small.

Don’t overlook the small things anymore: a listening ear, a compliment, a word of encouragement, a text of appreciation or simple spiritual reminders……$5 in the offering plate, one home cooked meal for a sick friend or fasting coffee.

“Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” Mathew 13:32  Remember, smallest things can have the biggest impact!

What Hope Looks Like

My son was expressing to me how it bothers him when people shop on the internet for things they know they can’t afford. “It gets on my nerves!” he says. And then he offers, “I mean, how can you shop for something that costs $5,000 when you can’t even put $300 together?” We moved on from this conversation, and I really didn’t give it much more thought.

A few weeks later the memory of this conversation interrupted my thoughts the way a bright light pierces the darkness, and with it was this phrase: “that’s what hope looks like.”

I was instantly catapulted back in time to my own past; to a time in my life when a two dollar bargain was out of the question: literally. I was so strapped financially that over time, I stopped walking in shops because I knew there was no way I could even afford the clearance racks. At some point I stopped shopping all together. Now that’s what hopelessness looks like.

At that time in my life I had my son’s views: why shop around or look at things I knew I couldn’t purchase? I knew I would walk out empty handed, and so disappointed that I couldn’t replace worn clothing, restock my family with socks or supply them with the basics.There is a scripture that tells me, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12 NIV). I admit, I had no joy because I had lost hope.

Praise God, my situation turned around a long time ago. And while I am practical minded, I now dream one day of possessing what seems unattainable to me now. This is keeping hope alive!! “If we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:25 NIV). I’ve learned to trust God to meet my needs; and I’ve learned to trust Him with the desires of my heart, my hopes and my dreams. He wants us to “hope for what we do not have.”

Hope is always looking forward to a desired outcome that has not yet occurred. Hope is looking for what seems impossible now, to later become reality. We can do this when we know “with God everything is possible” (Mark 10:27 TLB).

 

Related Scriptures:
(New International Version)
Romans 8:25
Romans 12:12
Job 11:18
2 Corinthians 3:12
Psalm 71:14
Psalm 65:2

 

Rooted Dreams

Recently I found a list I had written about eight years ago. This list laid out the desires of my heart to God, and much to my surprise the list was very “need” based. But then again, that time in my life was defined by very difficult hardships, which took its toll financially, emotionally and spiritually.

A few months ago, I signed up for the “The Ultimate Prayer Warrior” Small Groups class being held at my church. I’m so glad I did because something awakened in me, and I began to hear God speak to me like I hadn’t heard in a long while. During this time, God begin to deal with me about my ability, or should I just be honest and say it: my inability to dream.

As I reflected a bit, I realized I’ve always been realistic, practical, logical and afraid. I was afraid to hope and dream for things outside of what “I” thought was achievable or possible. I was more afraid to dream beyond the needs that had not been met yet in my life at that time. I thought I was keeping it real. I was just keeping it safe, and I was denying myself the joy that is found in dreaming.

One night during the prayer portion of Small Groups class, God began speaking to me. He told me that HE was opening the door to my dreams again. He told me that while I had faith, my fear was preventing me from taking the risk to dream.

It was a few weeks after this that I found my old list of “desires.” I began to wonder: if I write a list now, will it be different? The answer is YES! Over time, I embraced the open door, and found the joy in venturing outside the bounds of my practical mindset. I am still learning not to cap my dreams with reality. And as I dream, I am cautious not to list one need: not one!!

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:19 ESV.

I know that whatever I need, God will supply. No questions asked. But my dreams and desires: what does God say about that?

“Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” Ephesians 3:20 TLB

During that challenging time in my life years ago, I was living in survival mode, and I wasn’t daring to ask beyond my needs. Dreaming was a luxury I couldn’t afford. But I’ve learned all these years later to trust that WHILE I’m dreaming, God is faithful to fulfill His promise to meet my needs. This sets me free to soar beyond the limitations of a need based mentality. In other words, dreaming should not be rooted in our circumstances. Our dreams shouldn’t be rooted at all. God is challenging me to dream again, and I’m going for it.

Don’t let reasoning and fear down size your dreams. Release your needs to God, and trust that He is true to His word: and then, open your heart and soul to the limitless dreams that God has in store for you.

Dream past your needs! Dream often! Dream Big! Dream Bigger!

Related Scriptures:
Philippians 4:13
Psalms 37:4
Ephesians 3:20
Mark 9:23 NLT

Use the link below to see this, and other  by other authors at “Your Daily Bread”

Your Daily Bread-Rooted Dreams