I can't see the wood for the trees

forestSomeone told me that there is a beautiful forest around here somewhere but I can’t see it for all of these trees. 

If I could just get rid of the trees somehow, I’d be able to see the forest so much better!

It’s so frustrating to have my view of something that people say is so beautiful completely obscured so I cannot even see it.

 I feel this way all the time. I’m constantly frustrated but I’m frustrated at the wrong thing.

I’m frustrated because I want to be doing great things for God and I don’t have the time and opportunity to do so.

What a bunch on nonsense that statement is though. What I should be frustrated at though is my own inability to see the truth – that I AM doing great things for God, I just don’t recognize it.

I want to be doing ‘God stuff’ and ministry instead of staying at home raising three children.

I want to be doing ministry instead of being stuck talking to other parents while my kids are doing gymnastics, or some school activity.

I want our church to be much bigger so I can minister to more people instead of just having a few intimate relationships to work within.

I am so blind to the truth.

I am raising three children to know and love God. That’s a HUGE ministry. I get to talk to, build relationships with and minister to people that my wife works with, parents at the school, parents at gymnastics and people in my street. I get to concentrate on discipling a few people in our church rather than having myself spread too thin trying to disciple dozens or even hundreds. I have everything I want but I don’t even recognize it.

I literally can’t see the wood for the trees. 

This is an issue that I see not just with myself but with many, many people in the Church today. We are blinded by this worldly idea that ‘success’ means doing huge, dramatic, world changing things but God, the one who we should really take our definition of success from, doesn’t see it that way.

I was given a great definition of success once and it goes like this:

“Success is the ability to hear God’s voice and obey it.”

 It’s that simple. Listen to God, obey and you have been successful. It doesn’t matter what He has asked you to do, whether it’s commanding a mountain to throw itself into the sea or writing a ‘get well soon’ card for your neighbor. If we listen and obey, God will say “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

We cannot see his plan and we do not know how what he is asking us to do fits into that plan. Each little thing that we do is one extra tree in the forest – without our trees, the forest wouldn’t be as big or beautiful.

I have been reminded this week of how what may seem like small things to us can be big things to other people.

Three people; my sister, Christina Flagg and Andrea Gruen have been helping me edit my book to get it ready for sending to publishers (if any give me the opportunity). For them, they are just reading a kids book and suggesting little changes that could be made. For me, they are doing something that could be the difference between whether I get offered a publishing contract or not.

To me, it’s a HUGE thing that they are doing. They may not see it as ministry but I feel blessed by it and am so thankful to God that he has brought these three people into my life who are willing to help.

They have really reminded me that working for God, ministering to people and showing His love can take many forms and we need to open our eyes to see that the things we do, no matter how small, have a big impact and eternal significance.

If you’re like me, feeling frustrated that you’re not able to do ‘big things’ for God, take a step back and remember that every little thing you are obedient in is a big thing in His eyes – and His opinion is the one that ultimately matters!