When I was out for a walk the other day I got a little tiny stone in my shoe. One that was itty bitty tiny. I was about three and half miles into my walk and was at a nice brisk pace so I didn't want to stop and ruin my rhythm by taking off my shoe and shaking it out.
So I kept going.
I would shake my foot but that little tiny stone wouldn't move. I stopped long enough to bang my toe on the road a few times to move the itty bitty annoyance, but it still didn't move. I kept walking and with each block, that stone got bigger. By the time I turned the corner at the end of the road it felt like I had a boulder in my shoe. My foot was starting to hurt and all I could focus on was that stone in my shoe. I finally stopped and took my shoe off, but not before I had a pretty tender spot on the ball of my foot. It was sore all that evening and into the next day.
Sitting here at the end of today, I realize that sometimes things that happen in our life are like that little tiny stone.
I had something happen this morning that, while not big in the grand scheme of life, was enough to annoy me. But instead of sitting down right then and really talking it over with God, maybe look up a few verses, or even call to mind some of the ones I have stored in my heart, I let that situation sit there for awhile.
Then I tried to move it to the side, but it didn't go anywhere.
Then I took a couple bangs at it in my own power. Yeah, you can imagine how well that worked out.
I tried to ignore it for awhile but by this afternoon my attitude was sore, worn down and painful.
How often do we let something small have a really big influence on us, simply because we aren't willing to stop and deal with it as soon as we notice it? If you are like me, probably too often to want to admit.
If I had only thought to stop and ask for a Word, I probably would have found the verses below hours ago. They talk about salvation, freedom, trust, hope and obedience. All things I could have used a reminder of this morning. And if I had found these words, I wouldn't have ended the day with a sore and battered attitude.
I could have spent the day trusting God instead of focusing on that one little thing that was irritating me.
May I offer these verses to tuck inside your heart for the next time you have a little stone that needs to be removed?
May your unfailing love come to me, Lord,
your salvation, according to your promise;
then I can answer anyone who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
for I have put my hope in your laws.
I will always obey your law,
for ever and ever.
I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.
I will speak of your statutes before kings
and will not be put to shame,
for I delight in your commands
because I love them.
I reach out for your commands, which I love,
that I may meditate on your decrees.