Faith

2020: Finding Gratitude in the Small Matters

“Why?” is a finicky question. Its purpose is to seek resolution, yet so often, it leaves us wanting. “Why?” is a question I found myself asking so many times this year. Why did the pandemic have to happen? Why is racism still rampant in our society? Why did so many people have to lose jobs, homes, and the people they love to all of our natural disasters this year? At the moment, 2020 has felt long. It has felt arduous and unfair. It’s been uncomfortable and I’ve been tempted repeatedly to go mad by this plaguing question of “why?” It’s such a tempting question… After all, it holds the promise of fulfilling or, rather, filling our hearts with something we all desire: answers. But maybe the better, more practical, more peace-inducing question is not, “why does something happen?” rather, “what can I do about it?”

It’s amazing how big and hard and overwhelming everything feels when we try to take it in ALL at once. Perhaps God isn’t asking us to understand the big picture — just yet — perhaps He’s whispering in our ears just to keep going, to keep appreciating the small moments, to keep finding a way to meet Him in our neighbor and just love as best as we possibly can. When we’re tempted to ask such big questions like: Why haven’t we combatted COVID yet? Maybe, we’re being called instead to ask, what simple things can I do for those who are suffering? When our hearts are in knots at the question, Why haven’t we abolished racism? Maybe we should ask instead, What can I do to become a conscientious and compassionate neighbor? When the news blares the question of why is our nation overwrought with economic difficulties? In what small areas of my life can I better save, and where can I give away the rest? See where I’m going here? God is a God of the big circumstances, but He is just as faithful in small matters as He is in the large ones. Jesus reminds us of this in Luke 16:10. He says, “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much.” God sees your small works just as clearly as your large works, and He rejoices in each of them equally.

As you end this year, take a minute or two (or really, however long you need) to recall the small moments in which the Lord showed up and breathed His peace into your life this year. There are so many moments in our lives filled with the question “why?”… many of which we will never hear the answers to. But, if we retreat to our quiet place, despite the chaos of those things, and sit long enough to listen, we will hear the voice of God saying, “I am here, and this is exactly where you need to be.” As our dear friend Elijah once learned in the First Book of Kings, God wasn’t in the big monstrous noise of the wind or the overwhelming nature of the earthquake or the fire, He was in the simplicity of the silence. In the midst of your chaos and storms, you may not be able to feel Him or see Him or really understand the bigger picture, but always remember that He is present. Always remember that He is near. Allow that present moment to create the space in your heart to be transformed by God’s peace.

Cheers, my friends, to giving ourselves a little more grace when we just want all the answers, and to trusting in God that He has a new year planned just for us — one not devoid of the hard things of life, but with a better perspective on the small everyday moments of peace.

*For more practical tips on achieving peace during this season, feel free to check out my recent blog on Maintaining Peace in the Midst of a Pandemic.

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

About the Author

Rachel Penate

I am a Wisconsin girl at heart who has a slight obsession with the band Switchfoot. When I was little I dreamed of becoming a professional figure skater, but instead found myself studying Education. Currently I reside in the great, yet terribly hot state of Arizona and am neither a figure skater or teacher - I joyfully serve the Church as Assistant to the Executive Vice President of Life Teen. When I'm not typing away at my desk, I'm spending time with my family, working out, or relaxing with my nose buried in a book.

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