Posted by: Brad Stanford | September 2, 2009

Faithful With Little

Sometimes, being faithful with little means being obedient in another area of life.

There’s this area under a growth of oaks perfect for wood deck sitting. Except there’s no wood deck. I know exactly how I would build it if I had the right tools, but I can’t afford the right tools yet. So instead, we’ve taken down what appears at first glance to be a scale model of a three-sided metal shed on a 8 foot X 6 foot wood deck. (It was actually a doghouse, but the word “doghouse” didn’t conjure up the right image.) That little doghouse deck is currently waiting to be moved to the grove of trees where a much larger deck will eventually go.

Is it perfect? Nope. But it’s a shadow of things to come, and by seeing it every day, it will remind us of the goal, and what it might be like.

You might wonder why I don’t borrow tools from someone to build the deck like I want right now. Timing is the answer: I pondered the borrowing scenario (like the brush hogger), but I realized that God was helping me focus on what needed to be done now, while giving me a glimpse of things to come. If I borrowed tools today or this week, I would work on the deck instead of my software. Not good! My son took down most of it, and only needed my elbow grease for a few stubborn screws. He saved me an hour or two of work, so I could focus on my day job. The only thing I have left to do is move the 150lb thing, which I can do after during lunch or after dinner, in the “off” hours.

Just like when I put my arm around the shoulder of one of my kids and gently say, “Soon, but not yet!” God does the same thing. Yes, I have the freedom to think about getting it done however I want. But God makes sure that what I actually do* is in the right time, in the right way, so that things like the deck will still be enjoyable long after this week, rather than being a monument to bad timing or missed opportunities.

So I’ll have a little deck instead of a big one for now. This allows me to be faithful with my software development time. And as I am faithful with little, God will – in the right time – turn it into much, in a way that’s a blessing to my schedule, my blood pressure, and our relationship.

* I’m not a free-will type. I am a free-idea type. You can think of whatever you want, but it doesn’t mean you get to complete it, or even attempt it. See Genesis 11 and Acts 16 for more information.

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