Thwack. Thwack. Tap, tap. Thwack.
To some, the sound of a hammer might be abrasive. To me, it’s therapeutic. It (usually) equates to something new being created from unrefined pieces, or something being fixed. To me, it parallels how God works.
As this weekend’s service came to an end, I was reminded quickly that a few of our portable boxes were in need of repair before we could began loading the “church” back up. I laid under one of our main boxes replacing wheels and began to think of all the late nights spent building the church to be portable. Almost 8 months ago we began putting together the thought of a “portable” church. Even though sometime has passed it is still very fresh in my mind. I can remember the sounds of construction echoing through the halls of Harvestime EC’s kids wing, my mind tries to process the whirlwind of events from the past few months: finding a home for the Chippewa launch and working out its logistics, coordinating all the moving parts that goes into a church, the complexity of making that church portable, finding the balance between work and family, and the passing of my mother just after Christmas… it is amazing how fast your mind can flood with thoughts.
I can remember the late nights working on the boxes and being tired (physically, mentally, and emotionally). My guard is down and my mind begins to wander. I begin to wonder if I’m on the right path. Am I on God’s path? Am I really accomplishing anything by cutting this plywood or fixing these casters? How is this ministry? In those moments I wasn’t preaching consistently yet. I was holding meetings about what was to come for our church in Chippewa. I had not yet begun to imagine what God was doing. I couldn’t even figure out how God was going to use a simple farm kid to step out and do the work for His kingdom.
Up to that point I had spent a good majority of my life fixing things. Growing up on the family farm, my siblings and I learned the importance of doing things with excellence and working until the job is finished. This particular job wasn’t any different; I was completing one of half a dozen portable storage boxes which would allow the Chippewa location to transform from a trailer to a functioning church that can serve upwards of 200 people in under 90 minutes.
I can remember as I questioned my late-night activities, God reminded me what I was doing. This is ministry. God is in the little things. Colossians 3:23 reminds us that the work we do should be for the Lord. Our works are not what gets us into heaven, but our faith does (Ephesians 2:9). I was anxious and felt that I should be doing more​, something, anything, but this is​ ministry. God is in the details, or the
‘little things’ as we think of them.
There are many instances in the Bible where God took something small/trivial/mediocre and performed a miracle: Sampson used a jawbone to defeat an army (Judges 15:15), Jesus feeding 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish (John 6:9), or even the smallest of mustard seeds which grow to become among the largest and strongest in the garden (Matthew 13:32). Sometimes we need to step back and remind ourselves that God isn’t just in the big things, but He’s especially ​present in the little details. Psalm 37:23 tells us that God “delights in every detail of [our] lives.”
My past experiences have given me the knowledge to complete this very task. As I look at the broken wheel under the box, will anyone notice I used a threaded tee nut instead of just a nut for the caster wheels? Probably not, but God will. Will anyone notice the t25 screws holding the boxes together? Nope, but God will. You may not see the screws and nails holding your home together, but they are definitely there. Without them, your home would be a pile of lumber. God uses the small choices we make each and every day to guide and shape us (to build us up). There are so many people that helped through this process…I am truly thankful…you all helped me see that God is in the details. Now, just as He did with me, allow Him to stretch you in ways beyond your own thoughts/imagination. I know He is daily stretching me now and I expect nothing less are you ok letting Him do it to YOU?
Can you spend 30 seconds before a meal and pray out loud?​ Set the example for your family.
Can you set aside 10 minutes in the morning to get into His word?​ Notice the change it will make in
your day.
Do you have a neighbor that needs prayer for something?​ Pray for them…face to face! Imagine what
God can do through you.
I encourage you to take a step back and see how God is moving in the details of your life!
Karl Hanson