Pilgrim's Path Daily

Saturday, December 10, 2005


A Book By G. D. Watson - A 19th Century Deeper-Life Author
CHAPTER 9: "Little Things"

To HEAR this chapter, CLICK HERE

In the Kingdom of God, which is exactly the opposite to the kingdom of this world, things rank by the greatness of quality, and not by that of quantity. Our God proves His Divinity by the notice and emphasis He puts on small things. "Despise not the day of small things." --- "Because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities!"

There is no better way in the world to test every trait in a soul than by little things. Every Christian duty, every grace of the Spirit, every privilege of life, is being proved and manifested to the eyes of God and angels in things so small that we seldom take thought of them. It is the unpremeditated and instinctive actions and words that reveal the reality of what is in us, and not those large, conspicuous things for which we especially arm ourselves. The most essential grace for a human being is humility; God appreciates a soul in proportion to the depth of its humility more than all other things combined; but this very grace of lowliness of heart finds its appropriate home in small things. The sweetest things in the world --- the best prayers, the poorest self-denial, the tenderest words of sympathy --- by a delicate instinct of the Holy Spirit, hide themselves in little secret ways, as the turtle-dove will build its nest in the un-thought-of, lowly places on the ground. There are some great sorrows and sufferings that can be written out for the world to see; but the greater martyrs are those who have thousands of agonies in small and hide-away matters seen only by the Infinite eye. To suffer with a patient heart in things so common and small that people never think of noticing them is to glorify God in a high degree; for if we suffer in ways so concealed that no eyes but His can see it, then surely it is to please Him only. Fanatics and self-made martyrs like to show their sufferings to notice on a large scale, as a dog will make a loud howl over a small hurt; but a real lowly soul will suffer a hundred-fold more in silence and little things without advertising it, as the lamb will endure a great wound in silence.

There are times and places for great events and things, but in matters pertaining to perfect Christ-likeness of Spirit, the very greatness and splendor of large things hide God, and the creature is manifested more than the Lord. But in little things God has opportunity to show Himself; He is not smothered under so much magnitude and glitter, as electricity can show itself better at a small focus than by being spread over an immense cloud. There is no intrinsic harm in things being great, but we are so foolish that we let the greatness of things distract us from God. Just in the same proportion that all human things grow in size, they lose the Power of God. Great men, great learning, great churches, great sermons and fine music, great camp-meetings, even great holiness organizations --- anything great in the creatures --- soon absorbs so much attention that the sensitive Holy Ghost finds Himself slighted, and quietly hunts up little people and little opportunities, where God alone can get the glory. In every age of the world, the Holy Spirit has been traveling away from big things into the small, in order to find places where God alone shall be exalted. If we could always remain broken and contrite and little, God would always show Himself to us, and reveal His Personal Presence in the insignificant things of daily life, and the Holy Ghost would work marvelously through us in sweet and quiet ways, utterly incredible to the great and wise ones. God alone Knows when we are really little. Many will proclaim that they feel their utter nothingness, but in one hour after cannot peacefully and lovingly endure to be contradicted, or reproved, or slighted, or slandered. What we are in the sight of God, that we are, no more and no less, regardless of what men or saints or angels think of us, and regardless of what we think of ourselves. The Holy Ghost Knows when we are little, and His Abiding and wondrous Revealings will continue just so long as our infantile littleness continues.

In regard to our work, there is more real holy labor in the small than in the great things; for just see, in any great work there is human sympathy, man's praises, a field for enthusiasm and renown, a sphere for the display of gifts and zeal, and motive to arouse the natural heart; but in a little work wrought in obscurity, all these high things are weeded out. I do not say that a great work may not be done purely for God alone, but it furnishes a field for so much of the human; but in the hide-away and shut-in ways of life, our God gives us a walled-in garden to sow down with deeds and words and manners and looks, out of a loving, tender spirit, with no incentive but love, and no purpose but to please Him. A little work done for God to Know has in it a heavenly courage, a purity of intention, a sweetness of love, which is very difficult to put in a notable act.

We can show more self-sacrifice in little things than we can in great; because the occasions are more multiplied and the temptations to self-indulgence are greater. On the other hand, we should not be in scrupulous bondage to little things, for if we overmagnify little things, we put our souls in slavery, and the devil turns our flower-garden into a prison. Little things should serve two purposes for us --- to see how much of God's guidance and Presence we can FIND in them, and to see how much of Jesus-like love and service we can PUT in them. Every religious thing on earth will take rank in heaven just according to how much Christ is IN it!


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