God Is in the Small Stuff
By Joy Thomas
When you are a single parent, the stress of everyday life can be overwhelming. Even when you are married, a husband can't always be there when you need him. What a difference it makes when the door opens and Jesus walks in to make his home with you! One of the first things I noticed was I couldn't use bad words anymore. I knew He could hear everything I said. I no longer had any privacy, because He was watching me. I laughed the first time I felt He was in the bathroom with me.
When the Lord came, I was so glad to have someone to talk to. I had trouble with my middle child, who was very demanding. I heard Him say, “You feel too sorry for her.” I had not thought of that, and of course, it was true. She had been “Daddy's girl,” and I still felt guilty about divorcing her dad. Without realizing it, I often gave in to her whining. No wonder she was so demanding!
I felt tired and overworked but tried not to get angry at my kids. I would hold it in until I exploded. God told me that when I started to get angry I should act angry before I really reached that emotion. Then the kids would think I was at my limit, but I would still be under control.
I didn't have a career, but He always told me where He wanted me to work. Somehow I always got the job. I had no experience being a waitress, but the third time I went back, I was hired at a great little pie restaurant near our home. It was good pay for short hours – ideal for single parenting.
One day I felt like God wanted me to move closer to our church, so I gave my landlord notice. When I hadn't found another place by end of the month, I asked if I could remain another month. But my landlord said no! Moving day came. My friends arrived to help pack. When they asked me where I had decided to move, I told them I didn't know yet and opened the paper to the classifieds. I could hardly believe my eyes. A new ad for a duplex located by the church grabbed my attention. I jumped in the car and sped across town. The place looked perfect. It had a huge backyard and the elementary school was within walking distance. When returned I found my friends had loaded the pickups and were ready to follow me to the new home.
It was easy to tell God's ideas from my own, because His thoughts surprised and delighted me. He gave me the idea to paint our old piano white. I didn't know much about decorating, but as I sat and looked around the room, I could feel His eye showing me where the piano would fit.
When I needed money for the children's school clothes, I prayed for $200. A week later, my ex-husband called and told me he wanted to give me an extra $200 on top of the child support to use for school clothes. And he wasn't even a believer!
One day I took my son with me to the track to get some exercise. While I walked, my little boy played near the stands in the grassy field next to the track. As the sun began to set it was time to go. My little guy became upset. He had dropped one of the Lego gears on the grass and couldn't find it. It grew darker, and I knew we didn't have much time to look for it. Instinctively, I took his hands and we asked God to help us find the tiny piece. We searched in the grass under the stands and next to the stands. Finally, I told my son we had to go, it was too dark to see. Inside, I heard God say to me, “Didn't you ask me to help you find it?” Embarrassed, I stopped. I had insulted Him by giving up. I looked down at my feet and saw the little gear next to my shoe.
God is here with us. I don't sweat the small stuff, because God is in the small stuff, too.