Spring reminds us there is much to learn from God’s creation revelation when the lens of Scripture focuses our vision.
Proverbs 30:24-28 introduces us to four critters who are “small, yet . . . extremely wise” (v. 24).
“Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer” (v. 25). Have you ever seen an ant stand still? One doesn’t have to be a superhero or a big shot to thrive. Industry, plugging away at one’s work a tiny bit at a time, will get the job done. Maybe we can’t add much to God’s kingdom, but all those little bits pile up when we faithfully keep at it.
“Hyraxes [small plant-eating mammals] are creatures of little power, yet they make their homes in the crags” (v. 26). People survive by altering their environment. Hyraxes aren’t strong or clever enough to do that. Yet their ability to use what they cannot change lets them live where we cannot. They teach us to make the most of our limitations. Imagine if God’s Spirit had made us all superheroes—given each of us all the spiritual gifts. Then we wouldn’t need each other, would we? There would be no church, no Body of Christ. So instead of cursing our limitations, let’s capitalize on them by building true community.
“Locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks” (v. 27). Locusts are stronger than any army because they do what they should without needing any teeny-tiny commanders barking out orders. Blessed is the church that has strong leaders. But more blessed the church that doesn’t really need them because brothers and sisters pitch in without being told—out of love for Jesus and each other. Such a church copes with leadership changes like no other.
“A lizard can be caught with the hand, yet is found in kings’ palaces” (v. 28). Because a small near-Eastern lizard has no sharp teeth or tearing claws, it is harmless. It can go where most humans can’t. The guards would block the likes of us from seeing His Majesty. But the lizard can walk right past those guards and in through the front door. It demonstrates how being innocuous is a huge asset. Rather than having to bully our way to success, the vulnerability of Jesus’ followers can lower the guard of others and allow us into their hearts and lives in ways that power trippers can only dream of. Our best pastoral care is not conducted by the self-important but by wounded healers who willingly share their need for Jesus.
Bottom line? If we stay faithful in the little things, we can depend on God to take care of the big ones.
So let’s stop worrying so much about numbers: how we can become big, important megachurches within some humongous denomination. Such anxiety hasn’t done us a lick of good. Let’s just enjoy being church as we walk with our Lord and each other one tiny, faithful step at a time and call it good. Jesus does: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).