June 14, 2007

 

Missing the Fireflies for the Trees

By MaryBeth Whalen

 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 (NIV)

         

Devotion:

We have decided to sell our house. The sign sits in the yard like a beacon proclaiming the “out of control” state of my life. I can’t control who comes to see my house and when. I can’t control whether they will make an offer, or when. I can’t control whether there will be a house we love available when we do get a contract. Most of all, with six children and two adults living in our house, I can’t control the fact that it just will never be in picture perfect condition. So I pray. A lot. I pray that God would send a buyer who sees the house for exactly what it is—a real home. And I pray that He would help me not to get so worked up about it all.

 

Last night, my husband and I stood outside in the falling light of evening, discussing our house situation—our most popular topic of conversation lately. While we talked, our five-year-old son ran about in the grass, weaving through the tree trunks without a care in the world. I noticed him out of the corner of my eye as we talked, but didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to what he was doing. I had more important things to do than to frolic about without a care in the world.

 

Then I noticed him suddenly dart over to capture something in his hands. A firefly. The sad part is, prior to that moment I hadn’t even noticed that there were fireflies out. Fireflies have always symbolized the start of summer to me. I celebrate the sight of them as I realize that a season of cookouts and beach vacations, longer days and less routine are upon us. As I took in the scene, I noticed their little flickers of light were all around me—flickers that had been there the whole time. My son had certainly noticed them. In his little boy world, there was nothing more important than chasing fireflies. Not for sale signs or mortgage rates. He had noticed the little things, and I had overlooked them because I was too focused on the big things.

 

I thought about how God’s activity is like that. He is at work all around us, all the time. Little flickers of surprise and encouragement, joy and affirmation are all around us if we will only look up from life’s demands to notice they are there. We have to learn to live that way—with the heart and eyes of a child—to truly see Him. I want to spend my summer catching fireflies and delighting in the marvel of God’s creations. I want to live my life intentionally seeking out the little ways that God shows me He loves me, He knows me, He created me and He is indeed actively involved in my life. I know my faith would grow more if I stopped worrying and started chasing after Him the way my son was chasing those fireflies. I don’t want to miss the surprises He has planned for me every day. I want to see Him more and worry less. Every time I see a firefly this summer, I plan to thank Him for the lesson He taught me through a little boy on an early summer evening.

 

Dear Lord, please help me grow my faith by shrinking my vision. Help me to see You in the little things and let some of the big things go. Please help me to live life aware of Your activity. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

 

Do You Know Him?

 

Girls’ Get-A-Way Cruise

 

Application Steps: 

List some of the little things in your life that bring you great joy—think about the way that each season brings its own little celebrations. Have you remembered to celebrate God’s creation lately?

 

Reflections: 

What is a “big thing” in your life right now? Can you take a day to let it go and refocus on what God is doing instead?

 

Power Verses:

Acts 15:9, “He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.” (NIV) 

 

Psalm 24: 3-4, “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.” (NIV)

 

Psalm 73:1, “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.” (NIV)

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.Proverbs31.org