THE LITTLE THINGS Andy Hollifield 8-17-18
Proverbs 30:24 There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise.
Ants, conies, locusts, and spiders are the examples given in Proverbs illustrating wisdom. The word little is used 242 times in scripture. The bible says in Psalms 37:16 “A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked“. Often times, if we will just pay attention, God can use all kinds of little things to give us wisdom and bless us at the same time. I will give you a recent example in my life that actually happened. I will warn you though, this is kind of a Hallmark moment so be prepared to have your heart touched.
A lot of you know my son Tyler. I use him so much as an example of what I learn from him that you would think he was smarter than me and I am not so sure he isn’t. Recently on a family vacation, we had went into a gift and souvenir shop at Myrtle Beach and of all the things in that shop, he found a small stuffed “Big Bird” and “Cookie Monster” from Sesame Street. He wanted both but I didn’t think he needed both so I told him to pick one. You know, trying not to totally spoil him and also teach him that sometimes we have to make hard decisions we don’t want to make. I know it was just stuffed toys but since they were a big deal to him, I figured it would be a good lesson. Well it was a good lesson…for me. I learned that I should never do that again because Diane and I spent the next four months hearing about Big Bird. He had chosen Cookie Monster but wanted to go back next time and get Big Bird. As fate would have it, when we went back to the same store, some other kid had apparently liked Big Bird because he was nowhere to be found. You would have thought by the look of dejection on Tyler’s face that his whole world had come crashing down around him. You talk about feeling like a jerk I did. No one likes to see their kid disappointed so to keep his entire vacation from being ruined we started hitting one shop after another looking for Big Bird. Right when I was telling him it didn’t look good for finding him and I would order him online, we tried one more shop. After just a couple of minutes he came over to where I was with his face just beaming and with a grin so wide he was about to swallow his ears. There in his hand was the very critter that had brought so much grief to Diane and myself not to mention my guilt I had lived with for four months. The disappointment that he tried to keep hidden was now replaced with pure elation by the end of searching for this one small toy.
I warned you it was kind of a sappy story as my wife would say. I was thrilled to part with eight dollars just to see the joy and wonder in his face. Tyler doesn’t usually ask for much and he is a very forgiving young man. His autism has helped him develop into one of the sweetest most sincere and caring individuals I have ever known or likely ever will. The thing I learned from this was a repeat lesson. It was one that I have learned often and have had multiple refresher courses on. Sometimes something that is trivial and unimportant in our minds, may mean the whole world to someone else. Just because we don’t put value on something doesn’t mean it has no value. After all, that is exactly what Jesus did for us.
There was a time in each of our lives from before the foundation of the world, that it was a known fact that we were not acceptable in the eyes of God because of sin that would eventually be in our lives by our very nature. We were all outcasts and nothing we could ever do would make us acceptable to God. To the rest of the world and creation, we were unimportant and insignificant. In Revelation chapter five a search was made in heaven and in the earth and beneath the earth for a sacrifice that could reconcile us back into fellowship with God. Unfortunately there was not a sacrifice found that was perfect and acceptable to purchase forgiveness for our sins. All of a sudden, the very Son of God, Jesus Christ himself stood up as a slain lamb and volunteered to give his life in the place of mine and take my penalty of death upon himself. Why would he do that? I am sure that was the very question that the angels were wanting the answer to. They knew the depravity of man and I am sure to them, we weren’t worth Jesus laying aside his glory and sacrificing his life for. They had dealt with us from the time that Adam and Eve left the garden and knew how we were.
I was just a “Big Bird”. There was nothing really that special about me. I could do nothing to change my condition and furthermore, there was no one that cared. I was just something that wasn’t a big deal that would be passed over time and time again. No real value in the condition I was in and certainly no hope of ever being fit or worthy of a home in heaven. But Jesus loved me. He was unconcerned about my importance to anyone else or what anyone else thought of me. I was precious to him. Just like Tyler with Big Bird. It didn’t matter to him what me or his mom thought about Big Bird, he was special and cherished and precious to him. He was willing to search every shop in Myrtle Beach if necessary to find Big Bird. Jesus not only volunteered to pay the price for us, but he was willing to search us out and do everything necessary to make us his own. We were special and precious and cherished to him. We are that lost wandering sheep that he left the fold to find. Out of everything and everyone in the church that October night in 1973, he picked me. He found me way off of the beaten path in a place of no significance except to a few. He found an eight year old boy with nothing to offer that could possibly be appealing to the King of Glory. His grace and invitation have always been extended to “whosoever will”. He didn’t choose me above anyone but along with everyone that wants to come. He saw something in me that night that I didn’t see in myself and still don’t. He is still unconcerned with what anybody thinks about what he went through to purchase me and take me from where I was to a home in heaven. Far more than Tyler sought out Big Bird because he loved him, Jesus sought out me because he loves me.
I really haven’t overstated the importance of the lesson God used my son to teach me. You would just have to understand how his autistic mind works. I was just as worthless and without life as Big Bird was. Like I said in the beginning, God sometimes uses the most unusual little things to teach us big important lessons. This time, he took me back to Sesame Street to learn once again and used Big Bird to again teach me important lessons that I need to know. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!