Life in Focus

Where following Jesus and Every Day Life Intersect

God Cares About the Small Stuff Too

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Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.  -Psalm 139:23-24

We recently turned the page on our wall calendar and find ourselves in August.  My boys are still in denial about school starting at the end of this month despite the fact that “Back to School” ads are flooding our mailbox daily. I’ve never been a big fan of the ramp up to school and my mind churns at night with all of the things I have to do:  arranging sports carpools, filling in dates on my calendar, scheduling appointments, buying needed supplies, sifting through closets and drawers… the list is endless.  I can spend hours thinking through logistics and trying to make arrangements.

Recently I was having a conversation with another mom who was feeling a bit overwhelmed about the start of school.  A few carefully arranged plans she’d made for the school year had fallen apart unexpectedly and she was frantically trying to re-group.  I spent some time listening to her lament and trying to encourage her.  When I went home that night, I sent her a short e-mail.

“I know logistics and planning can be overwhelming at times.  One thing I’ve learned is that if I’m thinking about it, God wants to hear about it.  My default mode is to worry instead of trusting God with my problem.  I’m try to trust God more with all of my logistical details and watch to see how He works them out.”

She responded with a thought I’ve heard echoed many times in the past.  “I guess I just feel like it’s selfish to ask God about the small stuff.  I should be able to work it out on my own instead of wasting His time.”

Let me be perfectly clear on this.  The notion that God has limited time is absurd.  He exists outside the boundaries of time and always has enough for all of us all the time.  He’s never overwhelmed.  He’s never in a hurry.  Need some Biblical proof?  Check out this passage from 2 Peter 3:8-

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

God delights in us when we admit that we need Him- even for the small stuff.  The myth of self-sufficiency and personal control keeps us from trusting God in so many places in our lives.  God cares about every detail of our lives—even carpools, school schedules and frustrations at work.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”   Matthew 10:29-31

IMG_5665Can you count how many strands of hair there are on these two heads?  (Yeah, me neither– and I look at them every day!!)IMG_5659I’m learning that when I pray about my logistical frustrations, I’m more at peace with the way things unfold.  Instead of telling God how He should work in a situation, I rely on Him to resolve it according to His will and thank Him that He is trustworthy.  That way, no matter how the situation ends up, I know that it has happened for a reason and I look for the ways God wants to use it in my life.  It’s easier to recognize His hand in a situation when I’ve laid it at His feet in advance.

Praying about my frustrations doesn’t always mean that God answers the way I want or expect.  However, I’m much more apt to accept less-than-favorable outcomes and to look for the ways God is using them in my life.   When my kids don’t get the teachers or coaches I was hoping for I remind myself that God has a reason and I have to trust Him for it.   When I don’t end up with a close friend in my small group at Bible Study, I’ve learned to trust that God has a plan instead of getting indignant.  When the carpool doesn’t work out, I try to enjoy the one-on-one time with one of my sons on the way to practice.  And when my plate is simply too full, I’m learning to see the things God wants me to clear off of it.

Being anxious and trying to orchestrate every detail and logistic just wastes energy and causes angst.   I think Paul must’ve known this when he penned these verses:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-8

The passage admonishes us not to be anxious about anything.  It also says that in every situation we can thank God for how He’s going to work it out.  Once we lay it before Him, we’re freed up to experience His peace and to wait for Him to work.  When we feel anxiety creeping in, we need to stop and pray: “Guard my heart and mind, God.”

In case you’re still struggling with the idea that God doesn’t want to be bothered with the details, take a minute to think about your own children (if you have them) or your parents.  Loving parents care about the smallest details in their children’s lives.    God cares about details in your life the same way.

The Bible often refers to God as our “Abba,” which is simply the Hebrew way to say “Daddy.”   We are his children, whom He loves and cherishes.  No logistical detail is too small to escape His attention.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  Romans 8:14-16

It seems like I have a new challenge to trust God with every day.  I have a hard time applying what I’ve written about, but God keeps reminding me to come back after I’ve become too overwhelmed trying to do things on my own.

If you can relate to the August Angst I’m feeling, chime in and share how God is at work in your life through it.

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Author: mmccullum

Marybeth McCullum enjoys writing and blogging about her Christian faith and how it intersects with everyday life. Her goal in every post is to encourage, challenge and inspire her readers. She is in her 10th year at CPC's Focused Living Women's Bible study and currently serves as Coordinator. She also writes a regular blog and speaks occasionally. You can find her page on Facebook at: Marybeth Mc Cullum- Author. Learn more about her other endeavors at marybethmccullum.com.

7 thoughts on “God Cares About the Small Stuff Too

  1. I love the term “August Angst”. My children are grown now, but August still has a pregnant feeling for me. I have always loved shopping for school supplies, and so I filled and donated backpacks for underprivileged students for several falls to fill the void left by them no longer needing filled backpacks. But I don’t miss the stresses of carpools, schedules, homework, etc. It is a frantic season of life, and the wisdom of going to God with all things, large and small, is sound truth!

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  2. This brought back a vivid memory. Many years ago I observed a fellow worker at the copy machine in our office. She kept asking God for help as she copied. I remember thinking that her task was too small to bother God! Boy, was I wrong! I eventually realized my concept of God was much too small. Over the years our Lord has assisted me with many tasks. He helped me drive all the way home from San Diego with my husband throwing up with the flu, solved a number of computer problems both at home and while out of town, got Fed Ex to make a delivery one day early with someting I urgently needed, found parking spaces, lost items, and new friends! I could go on and on. Oh, yes, our God is closer than you think and delights in loving us!

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  3. Dear Mary Beth, thank you so much for putting my thoughts into words. My heart was beginning to race a bit faster when I thought about re-entering the “real” world after being on vacation for three months,back to dealing with problems at home, starting Focused Living, etc. After reading your blog, I am reminded to turn it all over to God, because He is in charge anyway! Whenever I start to get anxious, I will read your blog again and thank Him for being in my life.

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  4. So true, what a great word, That reminds me of Luke 8:43-50, Jesus was busy dealing with the death of the daughter of one of the leaders at the Synagogue, in the midst of the rush, an almost hopeless, sick women (who’s Kids were starting school next week and plans fell apart) needed a little help and concluded if she just touched His robe, she did, Jesus knew, Peter thought he was crazy, But Jesus loved her so much, that he not only healed her, Showed intimacy by calling her “Daughter” not woman, she belonged to Him she was special, , so she was healed and told her to go in “Peace” knowing she had school events next week, it was going to be busy…oh and by the way He did not forget Jairus ‘s Daughter, He affirmed his faith and healed her as well. That is a lot of multitasking while being in the present moment.
    Life is frantic and Jesus journeys step be step moment by moment.. I need to remember that a little more often…
    Mike Mac

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  5. What a great encouragement your article titled “God Cares About the Small Stuff Too” is! It’s truly amazing when you stop and think about the fact that His love for us is so great that He gave up His only Son for us, yet we don’t seem to want to “bother” Him or even trust Him with the smaller stuff. I really appreciate the reminder you included “Loving parents care about the smallest details in their children’s lives. We are His children, whom He loves and cherishes” Yes indeed, He is the same Father who inspired David to write Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” He pursues us with goodness and lovingkindness, if only we would stop trying to “fix/do” everything without Him, and allow Him to lavish His love upon us.

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