writing 325x215“I’m watching the sun try to claw its way through the wintry-mix winter sky.” Christmas decorations, presents, desserts, simple things like soap and water bring scant comfort. The pain and associated immobility, with the resultant loss of work and daily functions, cry out for the spotlight in a home theater that is set no differently than it was in healthier days.”
These are thoughts I jotted down a couple weeks ago, when the holidays were high and my spirits were low. Over Christmas vacation, I was hit hard with the first and worst cold I’ve had in 10 years.

As an extra bonus, my sciatic nerve joined the party and introduced me to pain I’ve never experienced before. It felt like I was giving birth to two babies, one in each leg.

I’m over both maladies now and have a more positive perspective. I’ve learned to appreciate each nostril, every stair step, each stroke of the clock. I realized that if I miss a couple showers, the neighbors won’t move away. If the bed’s not made, we won’t suffer from insomnia. If I stay at home napping and watching “The A Team,” we won’t go bankrupt. If the dishes don’t get put away promptly, we won’t starve. If I miss a couple church services, I won’t be smitten with lightning. If our little routines are interrupted, the world won’t come to an end. Now, there’s a new pleasure in washing dishes, shoveling snow, and pushing a shopping cart. Chopping firewood and vacuuming are refreshing. Tying my new sneakers is such an accomplishment! Nothing but bills in the mailbox? At least I can walk to the mailbox!

Simple pleasures. A loving wife who comes home at lunchtime to check on me. Christian coworkers who update the company prayer site and call to see how I’m doing. Little things that mean so much outshine the little things that mean so little.

Hair and sparrows — two tiny, inconsequential items we take for granted. Yet, to the Almighty, omnibusy Creator God, they are worth noting. Jesus reminds us in our time of need, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).

If God is so concerned about the birds that flit in and out of our view, how much more does He care about us who are always in His view, even in the dark?

And, if God has numbered the hairs on our head, will He not also count the tears we shed, and the turmoil in our bed? “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” (Psalm 56:8). The Father not only counts them, he keeps record of them!

During those times when pain of any kind is screaming for center stage, stealing the spotlight from the things that seem so important and, perhaps, altering our mood to the point of dimming our faith, the Grand Director is watching every move and coordinating every little thing for a grand finale. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

When the stage is dim, or you are blinded by the brightness of the spotlight of sorrow, don’t worry about the small stuff. Look instead to the One Who fills heaven and earth; nothing will slip through His hands!

Alan can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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