It’s the little things

Published 7:00 am Friday, April 20, 2018

By Gwendolyn Williams

Like buzzards hovering over a carcass, disappointment and discouragement whirled around my thoughts, leaving moments of sadness and worthlessness. 

Life comes with days of bad news, but not for me.  I’m a jovial optimist. A positive person who always smiles. Discouragement is the one weakness that Satan uses to destroy an optimistic attitude.  But my familiar smile vanished as discouragement found that uncomfortable place in my mind and sat down. Laying my head on my prayer pillow, I sought to hear a word from God to combat the enemy. Resting was impossible as my eyes began to fill with unwanted tears.

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“Hey.” Oh I know that voice as I sat up in bed. “I’m still in control and working just for you.” I remembered the words to an old song: “Your little becomes much when you place it in the master’s hands.” 

“Alright God,” I responded, “let’s roll.”

It was Sunday, so I headed to teach my class on Jehovah Rapha (God heals). I needed healing more than my students needed to hear me teach. But as I read to the class, the text jumped off the page giving discouragement a Mohammad Ali punch to the face. Just as class started, one of the students complimented me on an article I recently submitted to a magazine. I had forgotten all about sending the article. The praise was such a little thing, but just what I needed.

Instead of airing my distressing laundry, I decided to spend my time encouraging others who are still struggling. God was giving me strength to remember his promises and to press on to that higher calling. Day after day he sent little things to lift my spirit as I journeyed higher. 

While shopping at Walmart some kids approached me.

“Hey Miss, what’s your name?” 

“What? You don’t remember my name?” Smiling at the precious little ones, I reminded them of their favorite candy.

“Oh yes. You’re Ms. Chocolate” came their reply.

Giving them a hug, I thought about who else gets recognized like this. By the time I got to the dairy section two more fans were yelling: “Mommy there’s Ms. Chocolate.”  I am so blessed. Coming out the store a grandmother thanked me for encouraging her grandson.

“He ‘s in college and made the dean’s list.”   

I smiled. “Be sure to tell him I said ‘hello.’”

While strolling through my messages on Facebook, I discovered one from a long-forgotten friend: “Ms.Chocolate you bless me.”

All of a sudden, praise and thanksgiving did a praise dance within my soul. Little moments like these have been such a blessing.

I found a copy of the magazine with my story and on the cover was a small photo of that famous Ms. Chocolate smile. Such a little thing, but just what I needed to remind me of the faithfulness of God. Later, while taking clothes to the Baptist Friendship House shelter for women. Kay, the director brought back so many memories of years sharing ministry. For the first time I welcomed her hugs and a greeting in the form of a lick from PJ, the missionary dog.

Listening to a conference speaker sing an old gospel song brought back that familiar spirit that made me who I am.   

“Little is much when God is in it, labor not for wealth or fame; There’s a crown and you can win it, if you go in Jesus’ name.” Those words sealed discouragement’s fate as it made its way out the door of my heart.

Then, my favorite gardener came to the house and planted veggies in my garden. The gardener also brought stuff to kill the fire ant mounds in my yard, another small blessing from God.

Watching my former church’s worship service via the Internet is part of my Sunday morning routine. While watching a recent service, my heart was further blessed when my former pastor mentioned my name during his morning message. Thank you, Lord. 

My once discouraged soul was now filled with praise to God for his “little things.”