On greatness

I long to change the world. I want to be that person who does something large and wonderful and because of that thing, life is better for many people. I hear stories of heroes and want to be like them. I feel inadequate because my world is so small and my influence so tiny.

But greatness isn’t just found on the battlefield or in the charity hospital or in the giving of millions of pounds. Greatness is found in living rooms across the world. It’s found in the prayerfulness of the old lady. It’s found in the perseverance of the chronically ill. It’s found in the joyfulness of the weary parent.

We make a huge error by assuming, by teaching, by living the lie that greatness is only found in fame and recognition. Greatness is found in the smallest of places, in the weakest of people, in the lowest roles. Greatness is found in service. Greatness is found in prayer. Greatness is found in our Lord Jesus. His is the ultimate story of small places, weak people and low roles. And yet, on that Friday evening, on a cross that represented shame and poverty, Greatness made itself known.

I long to change the world. And I can. Here in my tiny flat, my prayers change the world, my love for my husband changes the world, my faith changes the world. It may seem insignificant but our God never looks down on the small things, instead He loves to see them.

Our God calls us to greatness, right here, right now. Let’s start small.

Shadowlands quotes

Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn fast.

Self-sufficiency is the enemy of salvation. If you are self-sufficient, you have no need of God. If you have no need of God, you do not seek Him. If you do not seek Him, you will not find Him.

To put it another way, pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world. Why must it be pain? Why can’t he rouse us more gently, with violins or laughter? Because the dream from which we must be wakened, is the dream that all is well.

I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, it changes me.

Look up and look out

‘Be careful what you pray for because it might just happen.’
It’s true. Answers to prayer come in ways that I was never expecting. And often they’re extremely annoying ways. I pray for patience and end up in hospital. I pray for strength and have a diabetes scare. I pray for joy and watch as another part of my world comes crumbling down.

Life is a battle. It’s hard down here in the trenches. It’s hard fighting for your life every day. Fighting for joy. Fighting for hope. Fighting for strength. That’s the thing about being in the trenches. It’s hard to look up and see out over the battlefield. But it’s vital.

Come with me. I need you to see something. You stand on my shoulders, then I’ll stand on yours. Look out, up above the trenches, over the muddied field. Look out past the old, wooden cross. Do you see that flash of white? Do you hear that sound? That’s our King, that’s our Captain. He’s on his white horse, his sword’s in his mouth and his crown is firmly on his head. That’s the sound of the armies of heaven following him. That, my friend, is the sight and sound of victory.

It should be easier to fight when the victory has been won. But often it doesn’t seem like it. And that’s because I forget to look up. I forget the glory. I forget the honour. And I forget how God answers prayer. Just ask Jesus. Not my will but yours. But be careful praying that because it might just happen.