I met my childhood best friend because of Mrs. Powell.
My family moved to Kansas when I was six years old. Our new neighbor told her friend, Mrs. Powell, that a homeschooling family had just moved in. Mrs. Powell invited us to join a local homeschool group, despite not knowing us well enough to really vouch for us.
We attended faithfully; Mindy’s family attended the group, too, and we hit it off. That was over 25 years ago, and Mindy and I still talk or text weekly. We’ve been friends through the clichéd ups and downs, and I can’t imagine not knowing her.
But none of that would have been possible without Mrs. Powell.
Little things make a big difference
Mrs. Powell isn’t the only person who played a big role in my life through a small act. When I was in middle school, my teacher, Mrs. Avery, read a book report I turned in and encouraged me to keep writing. She was the first person outside of family and friends who told me I could write, sparking what has felt like a years-long experiment in writing and attempting to write. It’s been years since that class, but I sometimes see Mrs. Avery at the grocery store. She doesn’t recognize me, but several times I’ve thought about telling her I’m still writing.
For all I know, Mrs. Avery and Mrs. Powell have both forgotten about book report assignments and invitations to a homeschool group. Their actions didn’t take much time or effort — they were small things. But God used both women to bring about significant change in my life.
It’s crazy to think about how God uses little things to bring about big changes — sometimes even course corrections — for us. “Who dares despise the day of small things?” God said to the prophet Zechariah, comforting the Jews who worried that God’s promises wouldn’t come to pass. With God, little things can be very big things.
How God works with a little
I’m grateful God used circumstances to bring about significant changes in my life. But it’s not about receiving my best life here and now. When I look back at how God uses even little things, two truths stand out that help keep me grounded.
God is able to use anything. A “chance” encounter at the grocery store. A random invitation from a friend to go to an event. An unexpected assignment. God can — and does — use all these things to challenge, inspire, and bless us. He is in charge of every iota of the universe, and nothing will stop His plan from coming true.
God cares and orchestrates even the tiniest details. God isn’t in the business of fulfilling our personal wishes. He’s not a genie. But He does care about His children and works in all details to bring about what is best for us. It may not be what we want, but it is what will bring us the most good.
I’m grateful that Mrs. Powell and Mrs. Avery followed God’s prompting even in what seems like small things. And I’m grateful that God used those small things to shape me.
I don’t know about you, but my days are filled with lots of small things. But who knows what a day may bring forth? In God’s economy, these days of small things will bring about His plan.
Early in the pandemic, our pastor introduced a new (to me) song at church. I love the chorus to “Jesus, Strong and Kind”:
“For the Lord is good and faithful
He will keep us day and night.
We can always run to Jesus,
Jesus, strong and kind.”
Strong and kind. How grateful I am that our God is both: strong enough to bring about any change in our lives and kind enough to work every change for our good. Even the little changes.
Mrs. Powell’s and Mrs. Avery’s small deeds benefited me. I don’t know what God has done in their lives through these or other acts. Am I willing and able to obey God if the end result is for someone else’s blessing?
Copyright Lauren Dunn 2023. All rights reserved.