Hello, my precious friends, how are you doing? I feel heavy hearted today. I think I have encountered too many little things without taking the time to process them with the Lord. It occurred to me that I might not be the only one and maybe we can encourage each other to work through our little things before they grow any more burdensome.
When something big happens, most of us know we need to stop and pray and proceed with care. When it is a little thing, it doesn’t seem as necessary. But too many little things can end up weighing more than a big thing and we end up where I am today – with a heavy heart.
What are these little things?
What kind of little things are we talking about? Any small grievance or irritation can hang around if we don’t deal with it. Think about a grain of sand, or a kernel of rice. They are so small that carrying them takes no effort. But when they pile up they are heavy!
I have a few examples from a beach trip my husband and I recently enjoyed. It was wonderful, except for a handful of little things. They would hardly be noticeable, except that they were added to an already heavy pile I had growing in my heart.
Four little things from our beach weekend
1. Strange message
There were many digital message boards along the freeway on our route to the beach. Each one had the same message. It read “Always watch for pedestrians!” We were on the freeway! If there were pedestrians at risk, shouldn’t the boards have read “Don’t walk on the freeway!”? I have seen messages like this near international borders, and they make sense in that context. But we were hundreds of miles from any border. It may have been the littlest thing but after the 25th board with the same message, I was tired of it.
2. Withheld breakfast
The hotel where we reserved our room advertised free breakfast. It was reiterated in written detail on the flap of the keycard folder, which we were handed when we checked in. But when we got up in the morning and went to the dining room, there was nothing. Not even coffee. (Is a lack of coffee a little thing? You decide!) The service was likely halted due to Covid, but the change was not communicated. I was disappointed.
3. Sneaky surcharge
We had a delicious meal in an established restaurant. When our bill arrived, a note at the bottom of it explained that a 4% surcharge had been added to cover costs necessary to run the restaurant. 4% is a small thing, but we felt it could have, and should have, been mentioned before we incurred the cost. It seemed sneaky.
4. Spitted boba
We took a walk through a quaint little seaside town. A car filled with teenaged boys drove by and one of them spit a mouth full of boba pearls at us. My husband, in true gentleman fashion, was on the side of the walk closest to traffic and the boba hit him, sticking to his shirt.
We could hear the boys’ raucous laughter as the car sped away. It was a little thing only because my husband kept his composure. He could have picked up a rock and hurled it through the back windshield of the vehicle. I adored him for his self-control.
These little things are just a few examples of many from a couple of (otherwise glorious) days. It is easy to see how the little things can amass quickly when we ignore them for weeks on end. But that is exactly what we do. Why?
Why do we fail to handle the little things?
Personally, I ignore little things for many reasons. I didn’t process my irritation in relation to the four examples I shared above because they felt petty. I was enjoying a weekend get-away and there were so many wonderful moments on which to focus instead.
Sometimes things are so little that we barely notice them. Or we feel them but don’t have time to deal with them. Maybe we think that admitting heaviness of heart over little things makes us seem week, so we choose to ignore them.
Whatever the reason, they do pile up. Suddenly, we have one little thing too many and the weight is heavy on our hearts and minds. Have you been there? Are you there today? I feel you! Friend, we’re in this together!
And more than that, God is in this with us. He cares about our little things. He knows about all of them.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.Luke 2:7
Please join me here on the Back Porch on Wednesday and Friday this week for more conversation. I want to talk about how to recognize the symptoms little things can cause and give you some ideas for getting rid of them for good! In the meantime, is your heart heavy? Tell me about some little things you’ve encountered recently.