Written By J-Wood, West Indies
We often yearn for big changes in our lives, but often, it’s only possible to accomplish these by making one small improvement at a time.
For example, a musician masters his instrument by practising every day, making small improvements to his technique. A house owner can gradually transform his home by making small changes, such as hanging decorations on a bare wall, replacing old furniture, or changing the layout of a room. Small improvements accumulate over time, resulting in a big change.
I experienced this most powerfully myself, after I went through a major surgery in December 2014.
My recovery was projected to take six to eight weeks, during which I was told to refrain from regular activities such as driving a car, working out at the gym, lifting heavy boxes, and so on.
Driving a car? Working out at the gym? Forget all of that! My body was fragile and weak. I was completely powerless. For the first four weeks, I couldn’t even get out of bed without my parents’ help. Many people who visited me while I was bedridden in hospital asked, “How are you feeling?” While I appreciated their concern, I wish they had asked me something else instead. I was clearly not feeling well at all. I was hoping that people would ask, “What progress did you make today?”
Despite my initial weakness, I made progress in small but steady steps every day. By the sixth week, I no longer had any difficulty getting out of bed on my own.
Thanks to this experience, I learned never to take small improvements for granted again.
In 1 Kings 19, we read the story of Elijah fleeing from Jezebel and Ahab after his showdown with the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18). Driven into the wilderness, Elijah lost all hope, to the point that he asked God to take his life (1 Kings 19:4). But God restored Elijah’s faith gradually, through small steps. At first, He sent the prophet food and drink, allowing him to regain his strength. Sometime later, another angel came and encouraged him before he departed to Mount Horeb. There, the Lord appeared to Elijah, not through the great wind, earthquake or fire that shook the mountain, but through a “gentle whisper” that finally convinced Elijah to get back to work.
Often, we don’t know what the future holds. As Christians, however, we can be assured that God will guide us along the journey. We can also trust that He’s ready, willing and able to build our faith through both big and small things. Let us celebrate the small improvements in our lives, just as we celebrate the big changes. Praise His Name!