It’s the Simple Things
by Sherry Bitler, Guest Writer
The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His Love. He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah prophesied during the reform of King Josiah who brought spiritual revival to Judah after a long reign of evil. He pronounced God’s judgment on corruption but also talked about God’s plans to lovingly restore Judah.
I heard my husband speaking to me from the other room, “I’ve made a railing for you on the right side of the steps. I have watched you go up and down these steps and I see that a railing on the left is not enough, you need to be able to support yourself on either side.”
I walked toward him. I looked up at the man speaking to me. It took a second or two for the words to permeate my mind, and then my heart. It is a simple rail, nothing ornate. I know that my husband is not totally comfortable with carpentry, measuring the cuts just right challenges his handyman skills. As a project perfectionist, I know that he measured and measured again and worked painstakingly to secure perfect angles. This was a gift of pure love, sacrifice, and tender care.
Having a railing on both sides of the steps leading from the garage to the kitchen (three steps) had never occurred to me. Even though steps are more difficult for me now, I have learned to go slow and compensate by the way I lean my body against the wall as I climb. I am struck by the fact that he realized what I needed before I saw the need! It is a precious picture of the Lord’s love for me – He knows my every need even before I do. It is a picture of the Lord seeing what is hard for me to deal with and lovingly restoring my ability, my comfort. It is a picture of the way the Lord uses the people in my life, especially my husband. Other times, it is our children, our grandchildren, or extended family and close friends. I am so grateful, and so humbled. Every day, as I leave my van and enter our home, I grab the support on both sides and easily pull myself into the kitchen. Physically, the railing offers strength and accessibility for every day chores. Spiritually, the railing serves as a visual reminder of who I am through Christ – a child of the King, so loved. And He is using my husband to be His loving care for me.
The idea was so helpful that my husband’s next project was a second railing on the steps leading to the basement. We had wisely purchased a ranch home several years ago thinking that as we age, we would be more comfortable living on one floor. Our home does have a basement and while it is not finished, we have storage, an extra freezer, and grandchildren toys down there. When I open the door to the basement, my mind immediately and automatically feels overwhelmed – like I am about to commit to some strenuous task and risk is involved. With the double railing, I have learned that to carry something up or down the steps, if I put it in a basket or bag, I can put it on my arm and still have hands free for the railing. I am reminded that God has made a way and I can do this!
This broken world is full of pain and trouble, in big ways and in small every day ways. But You, O Lord, take delight in us, in me. This world is full of Your love, and Your grace, and Your care. Please help me to see it. Sometimes You give us things beyond our imagination. You use the people who are part of our regular routine in special ways. Please help me to see the treasures in those people and to always be aware their care for me comes from You – things that are obvious and things that are not obvious. Please help me to be a person that looks beyond the pain and honors the simple small things, small gifts of the every day.
Sometimes it can be the little things that get us down, but it is also the little things that can make us smile and warm our heart. We get to choose. The little things can be the biggest blessings – like thoughtful railings.
Lord, help me to see clearly the little things – the little things that hinder me and I don’t realize it. Help me to weed them out when possible or learn lessons in acceptance when they cannot be removed. Please help me to see the little things that need celebration. Forgive me for what I take for granted. Please give me the courage, the knowledge, and the discipline I need. Help me to accept what I cannot change. Help my heart to grow more and more and more like You. Empower me to do the work it may require to persevere. Please instill in me the confidence to be intentional, grateful and to live a life that brings honor to You.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
Bryan and his wife say the diagnosis of severe autism for their son Matthew confronted them with the reality that the future they had planned would never come. In this conversation, Bryan touches on how he and his wife went into survival mode, how he initially thought the could “fix” his son, the spiritual struggles they experienced and the impact of Matthew on their other children and their marriage.
Sherry Bitler: Founder of a local traditional Christian School, a homeschool cooperative school, and a summer program for children at a popular Christian Conference Center. She is a spiritual mother to hundreds of young women. Challenged by her daughter-in-law, she began writing a blog, The Grateful Grammie, several years ago as part of her legacy to her grandchildren. She loves time with her husband of 47 years, their four children, their spouses, and twelve grandchildren. Sherry shares more about living with Multiple Sclerosis in this interview: When MS is Your Constant Companion.
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