I have heard many stories of survival lately. On the Today, show there was a man that survived getting run over by a train; on Oprah, a woman fighting her third round of cancer; on the Internet, a woman that survived a botched abortion - she being the baby! In each of these cases, the comment was made that God must have something important for them to do and that's why their lives were spared. I've heard that statement many times and I've even said it once or twice to a survivor of something. It makes sense, that statement, but it doesn't seem accurate. I know the meaning behind it - these people survived the "unsurvivable", they dodged death and why? There has to be something that they are supposed to do now, right? Something huge that God has planned for them. In my jaded eyes, I then thought, couldn't these people have just been saved from death and that's the important thing. That they get to continue living, couldn't that be God's will for them? Couldn't it end there?
On the other hand, shouldn't we all be searching or wondering what important thing(s) that God must want us to do? See, because I struggle with the huge thought that God could possibly love insignificant me, I think there has to be more that I'm supposed to be doing. I haven't survived cancer but I survived losing my husband to cancer! Does that count? Am I now expected to do huge things? Oh my! The pressure we put on ourselves to do the big things instead of seeing the big things! Keagan pooped in the toilet (lovely, huh?) that's a big thing! I didn't do it, I helped teach him to do it - that's a big thing. Murphy took a shower tonight without complaining or sighing, that's a big thing (believe me, it's huge) Briege, my little saint, got all of her spelling words correct for her first test in the 3rd grade - big thing! Why can't I/we see these things as pleasing to God? Must the things be demonstrative? Must they be obvious to the world? Must they be tangible?
We live in a world that says yes to all of these questions. You must be like Oprah or like Joel Olsteen or like Pope Benedict or like Derek Jeter (can I have a moment?) I so want my kids to grow up to be like Murphy O'Brien and like Briege O'Brien and like Keagan O'Brien and know that this is huge - it's a big thing; it's a beautiful thing; it's a God thing! That should be enough for us because I know (the Bible tells me) that it's enough for God!
Don't get me wrong, the survival stories that I mentioned are inspirational and definitely God-made! I am moved by these stories and many more - local ones like Bobby Kloska inspire me and make me want to fight to live! We can all glean from these stories and we get to see God's amazing work in tangible form but it should awaken those "radars" so that we can see God's amazing work in the hidden things and in the small, every-day things. It is a daily challenge for me to find these little things and just take a moment to say thanks be to God for them! The shower thing with Murphy, not always something I'm thanking God about because most days/nights it's a battle and I pray to God for serenity, not thanks. But maybe next time I'll try thanking God when Murphy gets in the shower, fight or no fight, and just maybe, I'll see what a big thing it can really be! (on a side note: Murphy, if you are reading this, I'm sorry if this embarrassed you - it was only to illustrate my point and I love you)
There is this song called Big Enough by Ayiesha Woods - listen to it sometime on iTunes or wherever - it really has become my theme song - a good line from it is "I don't want to box You in; You've been doing big things since the world began. Sometimes I just don't want to believe that You're big enough." Isn't God big enough to know us and that we can just stop trying to prove to him how big we are and let Him be big enough for the both of us! Ahhh... I just love God!