Friday, February 9, 2018

Triviality

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7 NIV)

Watching the Super Bowl on Sunday night, particularly with several of the players and coaches of the winning team mentioning the Lord in their post-victory comments, reminded me of former Baltimore Ravens’ star, Ray Lewis, who quoted a part of Romans 8:31 (“If God is for us, who can be against us?”) when asked how his team won the Super Bowl back in 2013.  Soon after, people were asking, legitimately, if that meant God was against the 49’ers. Athletes are notorious for giving God credit for victories, but usually are silent about Him in the midst of defeat.  This just adds to the belief that God is easily trivialized by our culture.  

We often become rather cynical when others talk of God providing them a parking space or a great deal at the mall.  The thinking goes that God is too big to become involved in such trivial matters.  Too be honest, I used to be one of them, but reading this passage and just looking closely at creation led me to conclude the Lord is more interested in what we might consider trivial than I once believed.  Literally billions of birds and not one forgotten?  The hairs on my head numbered?  (I wonder if that includes all the ones I have lost over the years!) What could be more trivial than a bird or a hair in the grand scheme of things? Yet, Jesus said they are important to God.  

Jesus states elsewhere that if a human father, though a sinner, knows how to give good gifts, such as bread and fish, to his children, how much more will our Father in heaven give us good gifts to those who ask! (Matthew 7:11)  I remember as a child wanting a lot of things, things I am sure appeared trivial to my parents but were important to me.  Yet they gave many of them to me merely because I asked.  So then, it seems legitimate to think our Father in heaven might give us things that are trivial just because we want them and because He loves us so much. 

In the case of an athletic competition, no doubt both sides want to win badly and, likely, there are players on both teams asking God for victory.  So it gets tricky to say God gave the victory to one team or the other.  But I think even if we think such talk is silly, we need to be cautious in concluding God is too big for such trivial things.  To do so ignores the truth that God indeed takes notice of things we consider very small and insignificant, and is extravagant in the giving of good gifts to His children. In fact, just this week a student shared that when she ran out of toothpaste and had no money to buy more, her mother “just happened” to bring her a tube of her favorite toothpaste when she came to visit!

Today, remember we serve a God who takes delight in not just the grand things, but the small, seemingly insignificant things as well.  So don’t be afraid to ask, even if it seems trivial.  You might not always get what you want, but it won’t be because the Lord refuses to be bothered with such small things.

© Jim Musser 2018

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