This past week I spent a good bit of time working in my backyard. I love planting fall flowers and hanging baskets. I enjoy coffee on the screen porch in the early mornings, and the fall colors and cool weather make it so pleasant.
During my labors, I mistakenly reached into an ant bed while pulling up some old annuals. The rich, black potting soil was the perfect hiding place for a colony of black ants. I never saw a single ant before they were swarming and stinging my left hand. I quickly brushed away the ants and ran cool water over my aching, on fire hand. How could I have been so careless?
My planting ended abruptly as I dealt with the multiple ant bites covering my hand. Disappointment and pain became my companions for the remainder of the day. The venom from the ants brought bright red color to a dozen attack sites. I sought sympathy from everyone I talked with as the cluster blisters of poison and pain increased by the moment. The response was always the same from my supposed comforters, “It’s only an ant bite”. It was the truth, but it was not reassuring. I can remember muttering, “So what do I need – a broken leg or a concussion in order to get a little sympathy?” I hurt!
As the days progressed, the household chores of cooking, cleaning and washing clothes added to the pain of my left hand. Sure, I would recover with no permanent damage from my encounter with the ants, but the process of overcoming was long, painful and tedious.
During this episode, I was reminded of the love of God for us. He not only loves us in the “big” trials of life but also in the “little ant bites” of life. We don’t have to be dealing with terminal illness, a devasting relationship or great financial need to feel God’s love and comfort. He is there for the little things in life that often accumulate and impact our well-being. He is not stingy with his love and comfort. He does not have a criterion for his comfort. He simply says, “Call on me and I will answer”.
In the beatitudes of Matthew, he expounds on his intimate care for the little pains of life and he tells us not to worry. Matthew 6:25-33 (NLT) “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?“So, don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
My favorite caring scripture that reveals the heart of God is found in Luke 12:6-7 (AMP) “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? Yet not one of them has [ever] been forgotten in the presence of God. Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are far more valuable than many sparrows.”
The skies are full of birds and their monetary value is little, but God says they are never forgotten in His presence! During the troubling, aggravating times of life I have said, “Am I not worth more than a bird?” Does the one who knows how many hairs I have on my head not care about the little things? He does!
There will always be sneak attacks by the “little ants” in life but God always, knows, cares and loves you and me. He doesn’t miss a single hair that falls from your head. He is called “the God of all comfort” and that includes everything, big and small!