Jim Graff: Jesus smiles at the little things offered to him | Faith
“Am I playing for you?” This is a line from my favorite Christmas song – The Little Drummer Boy.
The little drummer enters the scene as the baby Jesus is being born. He is surrounded by wise men offering Jesus gold, myrrh, and other expensive gifts. He looks around, then towards his battered drum. What can it offer compared to gold? Yet, unwilling to offer anything, he asks – “Am I going to play for you?” As the song goes on: Mary nods, “yes”; the boy is playing “his best”. . . and Jesus smiles.
I love this fictional story because it paints a beautiful picture of timeless truth:
God smiles at the little things well done for Him.
We hear this message again – only in a true story, in the book Matthew. Jesus had been teaching a lot of people all day, and it was supper time. The disciples suggested that he send the people home so that they could eat. He replied, âYou feed them. ” “With what?” they asked. He replied – “what have you got?”
They took stock and reported: a little boy had five loaves of bread and two fish. To feed more than 5,000 people? I’m not sure I would have had the courage to offer something so small in the face of such a great need. Yet Jesus replied, âBring them to me. They obeyed. And Jesus, again, smiled at what seemed small, blessed it, and used it to feed each person.
In the little boy’s response, we learn what it means to handle the little things well.
Prioritize obedience, not results.
What if the little boy hadn’t given what he had? What if, out of fear of being embarrassed, out of a desire for autonomy, or out of the conviction that the request was too great, the little boy apologized? It is an easy going place, especially during Christmas time.
We can easily face the added pressure to have enough, to be enough, to do enough. But if we carry the burden of results, instead of obedience, we will burn out. We cannot be sufficient. Fortunately, Jesus promised that he would be.
Award resting in the faithfulness of God.
After the little boy gave the food to the disciples who gave it to the Lord, Jesus told everyone to sit down. Think what the crowd must have been thinking.
It was late, the sun was setting and they were miles away from the food.
The last thing they probably wanted was to sit down and wait.! But they found that while they were resting in obedience, God was working to meet their needs.
I know some people think of rest as laziness. Certainly, I must try not to think this way.
But the scriptures teach rest as a commandment and a central part of our faith. There is something difficult and godly about doing what is within your control and then trusting God for the result.
Friend, this Christmas – we will probably all have areas where what we can give seems small. Offer it anyway. Remember the drummer boy, the little boy, the disciples and the crowd. As we do, we will find that Jesus always smiles on little things well offered for Him.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. Visit myffc.com.