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Little is Much


In the harvest field now ripened

There’s a work for all to do;

Hark! the voice of God is calling,

To the harvest calling you.

In the mad rush of the broad way,

In the hurry and the strife,

Tell of Jesus’ love and mercy,

Give to them the Word of Life.

Does the place you’re called to labor

Seem so small and little known?

It is great if God is in it, And He’ll not forget His own.

Are you laid aside from service,

Body worn from toil and care?

You can still be in the battle,

In the sacred place of prayer.

When the conflict here is ended,

And our race on earth is run,

He will say, if we are faithful,

‘Welcome home, my child–well done.'

Little is much when God is in it!

Labor not for wealth or fame.

There’s a crown, and you can win it,

If you go in Jesus’ name.

(from "Little is Much When God Is In It" by Kittie L. Suffield - 1924, SOURCE)

Apparently this song springs from the problem posed by the Apostle Andrew in John 6:9, “There is a lad here, who has five barley loaves, and two small fish; but what are they among so many?”

We all know what Jesus did with that small lunch.

But my mind actually drifts to a different story. In the account of God providing Manna for the Jews in the wilderness, we read this detail (in Exodus 16:18): "And when they did measure it with an omer (probably all that would fit in 2 hands cupped together), he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating." Paul comments on this (and clarifies it a little) in 2nd Corinthians 8:15, "As it is written, He who had gathered much had nothing over; and he who had gathered little had no lack."

Think about that: "...he who gathered little had no lack."

Consider the widow of Zarephath. She had only a very small amount of corn meal and cooking oil. She had enough for 1 small snack for 2 people. But God was there. God was in the situation, so her handful and small cruse fed 3 people for many days.

When the 70 disciples were sent out, Jesus said that He sent them without so much as a wallet or a sleeping bag. But in Luke 22:35 we read these words, "And He said to them, 'When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked you any thing?' And they said, 'Nothing.'"

When the remnant of the Jews returned from exile and rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem, they were embarrassed at how small the structure was as compared to Solomon's temple. But God was not bothered by that. If you read Haggai 2:9 you will find that God said, "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts." And in Zechariah 4 God asks the rhetorical question, "Who has despised the day of small things?" Certainly not God. Little is much when God is in it! That temple would turn out to be the one Jesus Himself would walk through during His ministry.

Paul makes all of this plain enough in 1st Corinthians 1:26-31, "You see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are: so that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.'"

All of this applies so broadly and yet also so specifically.

You may be unknown, unimpressive, without influence, and unsure. You may be insecure, often overlooked, habitually failing, and mostly unwanted. You might lack talent, lack opportunity, lack confidence, and lack understanding. Need I go on? You may be -- in many ways -- truly inadequate. But that's ok. You don't have to be "all that and a bag of chips." God is a majority all by Himself. You can offer your pitiful self to Him and let Him work through you, instead of you working for yourself (or even for Him). And when God is in it, He can take our insignificance and turn it into His glory. He can take our foolishness and redeem it. He can take our faults and flaws and cause our lives to redound to the majesty of His greatness. Little is much, when God is in it.

He calls the widow's mites: "more than all the rest" (even though it appears that it wasn't even enough money to bother bending over to pick it up if you saw it laying on the ground, being 1/4 of an old penny - see Mark 12).

He calls the least in this world: "greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

He calls tiny mustard-seed-sized faith: "enough to move mountains."

He calls the unintelligible babbling of children: "perfect praise."

He calls a cup of cold water: "worthy of eternal reward."

He calls a cloud the size of a man's hand: "the sound of an abundance of rain."

He calls 300 unarmed Jews against 120,000 heathen: "enough to win the battle."

Little is much when God is in it.

Be faithful in a little. God will make you ruler over much.

H. J. Heinz said, "To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success." No doubt! But allow me to "spin" that a little. You and I may be exceedingly common, but God does all things well. He can take our tiny little existence and turn it into infinite worth. It's what He does. He specializes in such things.

Give your "little" to God.

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