Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.”
“O rest of rests! O peace serene, eternal!
Thou ever livest, and Thou changest never;
And in the secret of Thy presence dwelleth
Fullness of joy, for ever and for ever.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Today’s Study Text:
“And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.”
1 Kings 6:38
“Every Detail Counts!”
“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
Have I ever wanted to be given a big task to accomplish for God, when in fact, He may have some “small” task, which I find insignificant, for me to do for Him?
“Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
“Great works do not always lie in our way, but every moment we may do little ones excellently, that is, with great love.”
St. Frances de Sales
It is fascinating to read the entire book of 1 Kings 6. While I don’t comprehend all the measurements and what these sizes mean, I will say that after reading every word from verse 1 – 38, there was one central thought I came away with and it was this: the project Solomon undertook required planning down to the minutest detail.
To accomplish such a comprehensive endeavor, Solomon’s commitment, along with that of his workers, was an all-out operation. However, if we read the entire chapter in the Bible, I was struck by the fact that there was so much intricate skill necessary to cover the carved wooden areas with gold, as was done, and to design and carve “knops and open flowers,” that one can barely imagine, not only the beauty, but the detailing required.
When you begin to wrap your mind around such a project, what comes to the forefront is the number of workers necessary to complete the building. We get some indication if we look at 1 Kings 5: 13 where we are told that Solomon “levied” what Webster’s Dictionary defines as a tax or required military service for 30,000 men who he sent over to King Hiram just to help cut wood for this massive project. When you add to this all the metal workers, wood carvers and a mirade of other tradesmen, we recognize that in order for this building to be completed perfectly, no job was too small or too insignificant. There wasn’t anything that didn’t count! Everything that was done, needed to be correct, down to the last detail, so that when the Temple was finished, it fit together in majestic harmony.
As we stop and consider the work Solomon agreed to take up when he accepted God’s request to build a “House to the Lord,” it becomes apparent that in God’s sight, there’s no such thing as a small task. I find this to be a point we should take a closer look at for often, when confronted in our own lives, with what we consider to be, the hum-drum routine of our “regular” lives, we begin to, not only devalue the work we are doing, but the person or persons who may be doing the work, even when it is ourselves.
In my own life, I haven’t been called to a position in a royal court or in a Senate or on some prestigious pulpit. You might find yourself in the same position, feeling that your place in this world is nothing more than “ordinary.”
But let us be reminded, when we feel that what we are doing is small and inconsequential, that it is the smallest of details that often make for the greatest beauty.
Several years ago, I was invited by a friend to go to a Mosaic class and from this first endeavor, I can’t begin to tell you what enjoyment I’ve had developing this hobby. If you ever think “small” is unimportant, the technique of making pictures with tiny smalti will get you thinking in quite a different direction. The most successful projects I’ve finished are those where I’ve taken the time to finesse small pieces of tile into the smallest spots, thus giving the overall piece a truly “finished” appearance. It is this attention to detail which makes a mosaic pot lovely to look at and it is the attention to the little things in our lives which accomplishes the same end result.
Pastor F. B. Meyer really opened my eyes to the fact that doing little things correctly prepares us for doing rightly when God may call us up to the plate to do something great for Him. Here’s how he explains the virtue of doing small things with all our heart:
“David (needed to) practice with a sling and stone through long hours in the wilderness, or he (would) never bring down Goliath. Joseph must be pure in thought and strong in private self-discipline, or he will never resist the solicitations of the temptress…The train must have been laid long before, and carefully, else the falling of a singe spark would never blast the mighty rocks or shiver the frowning fortress walls.”
When I was a little girl, my mom taught me a song she also learned as a young child from her own mother. In this little hymn, the sentiment is expressed that anything God gives us to do, no matter how small we think the work appears, is worthwhile to God. Written by Jessie Brown, these are the words to verse one of, “Master, Hast Thou Work For Me?”
“Master, hast Thou work for me?
I would gladly toil for Thee;
I have neither strength nor skill,
Yet some place I long to fill;
Though my hands are small and weak,
Yet some little task I seek.”
“Lord, in union with Your love, unite my work with Your great work, and perfect it. As a drop of water poured into a river is taken up into the activity of the river, so may my labor become part of Your work. Thus may those among whom I live and work be drawn into Your love.”
Gertrude of Helfta
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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