Small Things

Lenny Cacchio


It's easy to get discouraged when observing the challenges of the world. From moral decline to violence, from corruption to theft, too often good citizens feel helpless to change the moral temper of our society. Personally, I feel like yelling my disgust at the television news when the obvious spin (read "propaganda") spills from the talking heads in the name of truth. Sometimes yelling at the tube is all we can do or is as far as we can take it, for we fear that no one is listening.

In many ways we live in a world that mirrors that of Ancient Rome where, as Paul said, the elite of the day suppressed the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). Though they know better, they hold back the whole story for motives of their own.

It's easy to get discouraged and think that we can do nothing about such things. While we may be small, God promises that he'll use the weak of this world to confound the mighty (I Corinthians 1:27, Hebrews 11:34). 

One time Jesus challenged his disciples. Thousands had gathered to hear the Master's words and to be blessed by his presence. Then Jesus asked, "Where should we buy bread for these people?"

This was a daunting task. They lacked the finances to feed everyone, and they scurried among the crowd to see if anyone had thought about bringing a lunch. All they could find was one boy with five small loaves and two small fish. Most people know the story, that Jesus fed thousands of people by multiplying one generous child's insignificant offering.

To you I submit this: If Jesus was who he said he was, why didn't he just make loaves and fish out of nothing? Why did he ask the boy to give up his lunch? Here is a lesson that we should take into every day. Though God can make loaves and fishes appear out of nothing, he expects us to offer what we can even if it is only a widow's mites. He will take our meager offerings, as small as they may be, and multiply them thousands of times over. 

Too often we expect God to do it all. The idea is to wait until the Kingdom comes, but until then we resign ourselves to victim status. Yet it seems from the scriptures that God expects us to have some of our own chips in the game. And I believe he demands it for our sakes, that we may build godly character and experience in order to become like him.

It is the small things multiplied thousands of times by thousands of people, all offered in the name of God, that will alleviate the burdens of this present age.

Through one of his prophets God asked, "Who has despised the day of small things?" (Zechariah 4:10) You cannot be too small for God to use.

So write that letter to the editor or say the Pledge out loud. Cast your ballot for a candidate and speak out in the public forum. Give a cold glass of water to a thirsty man and help your neighbor in need. Comfort the grieving and visit the sick. Confront evil when you see it and deal honestly in business and employment. Salt the world with your presence and shine your light in the darkness. It might seem small in a world overwhelmed with evil, but the goodness of your gifts will multiply thousands of times over, for we should not despise the day of small things.

Excerpted from The Sabbath Morning Companion, November 7, 2003, by Lenny Cacchio. 
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