For the fourth year in a row, I've chosen just one word to focus on this year. The past three years I've chosen the words "peace," "listen," and "rest." I almost wanted to do "rest" for another year, it was such a needed word for me (and I don't think I quite got the hang of practicing it the way I had hoped). But although I will continue to work on creating a rhythm of rest in my life this year, there is another word that has been tugging at my heart and that I am longing to pursue this year: "small."
Instead of bigger and more, I am being drawn toward smaller and less.
In a world that seems to tell me that growing bigger is better, I want to dig deeper into the truth that maybe small is actually best. In a culture that pushes the idea that the pursuit of happiness is to pursue more (having more, being more, doing more), I’m wondering if the pursuit of true joy is actually to pursue less – less of me, more of Him; less selfish striving, more selfless sacrifice.
After a year of feeling the pressure to produce more and do more, I am feeling the tug now to bow low and make myself small…so that HIS name can be made great. I am finding myself longing to embrace my smallness…to make less of me and more of Him…to find joy in the little things, the selfless things, the quiet, unnoticed, small things.
When I think of small things in the Bible, I think of the mustard seed – the seed that the Kingdom of heaven is likened to (Matt. 13:31-32), and that faith of its size could move mountains (Matt. 17:20)....I think of the small loaves of bread and small little fish that were given to Jesus to feed thousands (Matt. 15:34, Mark 8:6-8)....I think of the widow’s small offering, her two small copper coins, a small offering that was a great sacrifice (Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4)....I think of how James described the small rudder that guides a large ship (James 3:4)....I think of how the Bible describes the smallness of our lives, as a tiny momentary mist that appears only a little while (1 Peter 1:6).
And as I think about these things, I think maybe there may be more to this idea of smallness than I have realized.
So this year, I have no grand plan to achieve giant dreams or conquer the world…I simply want to embrace my smallness, to humble myself at the foot of the cross, and to give all that I have, as little as it may be, into the hands of Jesus and let Him do with it as He will…all for Him, all for His glory alone.
Do you have a word this year? What one thing do feel God asking you to pursue?
Oh, and here's a free little 5x7 printable of John 3:30...a bit of encouragement to make much of Jesus and little of ourselves, no matter what we pursue this year. Enjoy!!