This post is coming later than usual. I apologize to all of you who visited the blog in anticipation of a new post on Wednesday. I was preoccupied with the joyful cares of supporting my son to celebrate his 18th Birthday. Receiving many calls on his behalf from our dear relatives and friends while he was out celebrating with his friends engaged my attention.
In the last post, I shared about the damage caused by little drops of water seeping from our shower. Scrapped and exposed, we were amazed at the extent of the damage on the walls and it is taking more than we anticipated reversing it. I am back at home but we are not out of the woods yet. It appears we have to wait patiently for the plastered wall to dry completely before it can be repainted. Not a pleasant sight to wake up to every morning but I have to grit my teeth and bear it.
Three lessons came out of this experience to illustrate the power of little:
· Little can move subtly, beneath the surface, under the radar for a long time like a stealth plane and would have caused much damage before it is detected.
· It spreads. Its impact is far reaching beyond the point where it started.
· The devastating effect of the power of little takes a long time with much resources—effort, patience and sometimes funds—to reverse.
Little by little but surely, isn’t that how most of us got into credit card debt. I watched on the TV recently, a father who was trying to assist his daughter, a student in the university, to understand how she got into a huge credit card debt. It started with little but unnecessary purchases she made to impress others. Before she knew it, she had a debt of $8,500 which she could not repay. I am sure a lot of us can relate to this power of little.
That is how Satan works too, slowly and subtly. He is never in a hurry. He takes his time, beneath the surface, in our minds, until he steadily gains ground. Ellen White said “it is one of Satan’s most successful devices to lead men to the commission of little sins, to blind men to the dangers of little indulgences…” – Review and Herald.
Joyce Meyer, in her book The Battlefield of the Mind Devotional, wrote about a man who confessed to being unfaithful to his wife: "I was unfaithful to you in hundreds of ways before I ever committed adultery" He spoke of their being too busy to spend quality time together, his critical attitude, her occasional lack of emotional response, her not listening to him when he talked about problems at the office. "Just little things, always little things" he said. "At least in the beginning they seemed that way" That’s exactly how Satan works in human lives. He begins by bombarding our minds with cleverly devised patterns of irritation, dissatisfaction, nagging thoughts, doubts, fears, and reasoning. He moves slowly and cautiously (after all, well-laid plans take time).
The magnitude of destruction caused by little things—little misdeeds, little careless words, and little but subtle suggestions from Satan into our minds which are not brought into obedience of Christ—is beyond what can be described within the scope of this post. Many who break faith with their spouses have testified that it began with a tiny lustful thought left unchecked and unchallenged with the Word of God. Needless to say, lives, relationships and dreams have been shattered by the power of little.
“Satan is never in a hurry…he’s willing to take his time, but make no mistake about it…his end game is always to steal…kill…and destroy what God’s done in our lives” – Christlike Ministries NWA.
Relationships have been eroded by little acts of neglects. As described above, these neglects can lead to unfaithfulness in a marriage relationship. But it is not exclusive to marriage; friends can take each other for granted to the extent that a long-term friendship can become sour because we neglect to pay attention to each other’s needs. It starts with missing little opportunities to let those with whom we relate know we care about them and what is important to them.
The same can occur in our communion with God, when we neglect to pay attention to staying in God’s presence and we become too busy to have time for prayer and Bible study, gradually God takes a second place in our lives and our spiritual growth becomes stunted. These little acts of omission deprives of a rich and thriving fellowship with God.
“More sorrow is caused by little careless words of a friend than by the open slander of an enemy” – Amazing Facts.org.
As a spark can set a great forest ablaze so can the tongue though a small part of the body set nations, families, siblings, and couples against each other. Careless and unguarded words cause deep wounds. Words can sting worse than a scorpion. Words can bite worse than a rabid dog. Little hurtful words can destroy relationships. They take only a millisecond to say, but their effects can last a life time. How many lives have been destroyed by the hurtful words of significant others. Little drops of hurtful words erode self esteem and feeling of worth.
It is incredible that something which seems so little can have a devastating power and influence. Consider that as tiny as the mosquito is, it is ranked among the ten deadliest creatures in the world. It is responsible for up to 2 million deaths in a year through the spread of Malaria and other diseases.
The Power of Little touches lives, but in this instance not for good, except we make concerted efforts by the help of the Holy Spirit to be vigilant, alert and prayerful. I will share the flip side of the coin in the Part 2 of Power of Little next week. Until then let us pray for the grace not to hold Satan’s words in our minds or allow him to have a foothold in our lives through the destructive power of little.
What has been your experience with the force of little? Can you relate to the experiences shared in this post? If yes, how did you overcome or reverse it? Do take a moment to share your story in the comment box below. Your comments mean a lot to me and to the other readers too.