1 in 10,000. That is how many women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in stage one. I am one of those. I am rare, and rarity increases the value of something. My illness did not change my value in God’s eyes, only in my own. Cancer forces you to look at the world from a different perspective. It is like you put on special glasses that diminish some things and bring others into sharp clarity. The fact is that what I believed was important before was not really. All the energy I had put into my job, house, making money and activities, even good ones, was energy wasted. All of those can be replaced. The clear things, are the intangible ones like love, communication, hope, faith, and relationship. Clarity brings change along with it.
I have been hearing a phrase over and over in my head for the past few months. It is as if God is whispering it to me, “You were created for greatness.” It seems I have been surrounded by stories of amazing people. Inspiring stories that stir up my spirit inside of me. We are created for greatness. God planted a seed inside our hearts to grow. He waters and feeds it. He sees what he desires for us to become, yet he loves us where we are. He is not a God of performance. So when I think of being created for greatness I have an American picture of what that looks like. Honestly, greatness feels unattainable to me. I am just a mom…just a teacher.
So I asked God, “Who am I to do something great?” All I heard, once again, was “You are created for greatness.” When God repeats something over and over, I have learned to listen. He did not change what he said, so there is something about that phrase that I am not getting. In my eyes, greatness and I to do belong in the same sentence. I do not have any wonderful thing I have done that will change life, as we know it. I did not invent sticky notes, or a computer program that changes everything. I did not lose an arm to a shark attack. I did not start a school that changed the way we educate our kids. I have never held an office. However, since God will not relinquish the words, I started trying to see how in the world it could be true. He did not give me any room for changing the wording. YOU are created for greatness. I know who I am. I know I am CREATED by God. So the word that I struggled with in this simple phrase is greatness. My mind has a picture of what that looks like, but could it be that my view and God’s are different from each other? Could it be that my definition of greatness needs an adjustment?
I looked up the word. The definition is “large in dimensions or numbers.” It means what I thought it meant. I still did not see what God is trying to say. But what if the things that I do, that I deem small based on this definition are actually large to God? Ah, now I am getting somewhere. What if teaching a 3rd grader to read is actually a LARGE thing? To me it seems small…not great. To our world it is a minimal thing. But to HIM it is huge, because he sees the eternal picture. He sees what I cannot. In God’s world great things are many times small to us. Changing a diaper, reading a story, singing a song…all small things in our world. But great things to God, because they make a difference for the child he values so. They make a difference in our own lives as well. When we see our day to day small tasks as important to the bigger picture, it brings him pleasure. This greatness he poured into us can flow out anywhere. What about at your job? Making copies, writing letters, picking up the mail…all small things. It is not about the things…it is about the heart with which we do them. These great little things make all the difference.
God is great. It is something many of us have known since we prayed that blessing as children. We do not doubt that. We read the bible of all that he created, of Jesus death and resurrection…we read of healing and redemption. All of it seems so big…because it is so big. Ladies, here is the thing…he lives inside of you. Yep…that great and mighty God flows out of you in everything you do. So that makes us great does it not? It means that our actions…the small ones are great. If he has put it in your heart to do it is great.
Some of the greatest things we do require very little on our part. I battled cancer and survived. I get a lot of people who think that is heroic. I sat in a chair while they pumped me full of poison. Not a great thing…a small thing. I did nothing but sit. God is the one who makes the things we do great. Not us. And I think that is the point. We beat ourselves up and minimize what we do…all the while he is calling to us…I have great and mighty things for you to do. Watch and see. Greatness resides inside of you we only need to let it out.
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Life is made up of little things. It is very rarely
that an occasion is offered for doing a great deal at once.
True greatness consists in being great in little things. (C. Simmons)