Little people – like children – struggle to do things, because they are small. Even today, Dad and I laugh about the time when as a child I had become overwhelmed with a long walk, and I wailed the plaintive cry of ‘My little legs!’. Everyone else’s stride took them much further, much easier, and I was frustrated about that. If only my legs weren’t so little… ‘Wait for meeee….!’ was another common cry – it seems there was a lot of ‘catching up’ going on back then.
Years later, when wracked with the long-term persistent pain and fatigue of ME (chronic fatigue syndrome), I had been told by the doctor that despite my exhaustion and muscle fatigue, I should try to get some gentle exercise. I was skeptical about the idea of pushing through so much pain at the risk of a serious setback in energy and capacity, but I chose to try it anyway.
My attempt was laughable – literally. As I crawled along the embankment in a sort of leaden half-walk, trying-to-jog which was far far slower than a brisk walk, a group of unthinking lads shouted over at me in mockery. Laughing out loud, they had no idea what they were laughing at. Had they seen the size of the giant I was facing down, they might have been more impressed. Had they known I wasn’t there ‘doing fitness’, but pushing through a painful muscular condition , if they’d seen the size of the Fear of Setback I was resisting… if only they’d known.
But I knew what I was facing, which is why I ignored them as ignorant. On the outside, results so often look pitiable, enough to sneer at. On the inside, mountains of fear, intimidation and resistance are being steamrollered, just because we stood up and showed up for battle.
That’s how small faith works. And it works in secret, while the world looks on at outside results and sneers. Don’t join them in despising your ‘day of small things’. You’re achieving so much more than you yet realise.
(On recovery from Chronic Fatigue: I’m fully fit, now, by the way. Never believed it at the time, when it felt like I’d be debilitated or bedridden for the rest of my life. I’m now working, exercising regularly, and able to socialise and enjoy life to the full. I can eat just about any foods, and need normal amounts of sleep. It took intially ~18 months to return to 60% strength, and another 7 years to recover further while I worked part time.)
20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20
The art of small faith