The Little Things :: by John Lysaught

I’m not sure about you out there, but I tend to worry a lot about the little things in life. Maybe it’s because of the way I grew up in a violent home. Maybe it’s because we were dirt poor when for a good portion of my childhood. Maybe, and most likely, it is because I have General Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, as some of you may have heard it as.

I’m pretty sure it is a mix of all three, being the two former made me the latter. Regardless, I’m doing this essay selfishly thinking of myself. I hope, of course, that my research and words have an impact on those reading my words (but I need this essay as much as anyone else).

Some of you may think I am a weak person or my strength is not strong enough in Christ. You may say that if I were stronger, I would be able to overcome this problem of mine. Believe me, I’m strong in my faith in Christ and know where I’m going when this is all over. But, and I say this again, but, when I pray for relief and healing, I end it with, “Thy will be done.” I trust that His will is being done.

I believe I am to suffer from GAD for reasons unbeknown to me. I have not been healed of it. I have not been relieved of this burden. Sure, I have good days, but five out of seven days are full of anxiety of the little things in life that give me anxiety. You know what? I don’t think I’m alone in this.

There are so many things happening in life, not only the big things, but the little things in life that snag us and trap us into negative thinking. Christ doesn’t want us to worry about the little things and he addresses this in Matthew 6:25-26:

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”

We are told not to worry about anything for God will take care of us and our needs. Great concept and guidance, but to put into practice can be quite a challenge, especially for me.

This is what I struggle with; being a worry-wart and getting anxious about everything. I mean everything. I struggle with overcoming my anxiety. I know what the verse says, but I don’t know how to implement it in my thought process. Right now I’m in intensive Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). It is specific therapy to address what I’m going through with my anxiety.  I know it is secular but the psychologist is a Christian. So even though he professionally can’t speak on Christian things, he allows me to express myself through talking about Christ and my beliefs.

We have determined that my anxiety stems partly from fear. Now I know I shouldn’t fear and fear is not something to dwell on but I fear nonetheless and it manifests itself into anxiety for me.  1 John 4:18 says: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” In my heart I can relate and know this but I am still tormented by my anxiety, my fear. It’s a roadblock for my being in His perfect love. I want to be in His perfect love and strive for it every day.

It’s the little things that get me and get me down; challenges I face daily. The bills, what to eat, what to wear, my kids, my family, my job, etc. and etc. The little things in life can take us away from our needed focus on Christ.  The little problems and challenges are Satan’s way of poking at us to try to find a weak spot in our armor. He wants to exploit the little things in our lives into big things. If he can find a crack in our armor, through little things, he can begin to push a wedge into us and try to pull us away from Christ. We can overcome this.

John 14:1 says “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

It is the little things that can lead to bigger things if we get troubled in our hearts about them.  I have this great trouble in my heart about my health. My health is pretty poor because of multiple conditions I have, and I fear a shorter life. Yet at the same time, I know God has greater plans for me for I feel this in my heart of hearts. What those things are, they have not been revealed to me yet—but I know I still have a future. Yet it still troubles me. I can’t get over it. I’ve tried many times to let go and let God. Yet, I still feel this way.

We should not be troubled because we believe in Christ and He cares and looks after each one of us. We can overcome the little things and come out of it with confidence and greater strength in our Lord and Savior. Troubles will always come, little and big, but we can overcome through our faith and ever growing strength and confidence in Christ.

Romans 15:13: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

In searching through Scripture, that verse popped out at me. I’m not sure it is directly related to trouble with the little things in life, but it rings a bell for me that by believing in Christ, through the Holy Spirit, I can have hope that the little things in life won’t get me down and out.  Instead of anxiety and worry about the little things, I should have a joy and peace inside of me. I should have hope that I can overcome the little things in life so the world and Satan don’t take me over and pull me away from Christ.

I believe that the little things in life can be a stumbling block in our relationship with Christ. It is a long term project for me that I fight daily to overcome. Some days I succeed and… some days I fail miserably. Hope, though stays with me and I never give up hoping, expectantly waiting for God to answer my prayers and give me His strength to overcome. For as Luke 1:37 says: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

I must be patient for this.

When I think of the little things Satan and world throw at us, I think of them as challenges to overcome with the end state of have a closer relationship with God. I do look forward to facing my fears and anxiety because I know that by doing so, my strength in Christ grows each and every day. I can’t help but grow in Christ as I face the little troubles in life with Him by my side.

2 Corinthians 12:10: “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

2 Corinthians (above) says to take pleasure in infirmities. Hmmm. In the little things of life that the world throws at us, we should take pleasure in them, face them head on, toe to toe. Why? Because when we overcome what the world throws at us when we are weak, we become stronger in Christ, in our relationship with Him. When we are at our lowest, i.e., our weakest, we overcome and are stronger in Christ. This is a challenge with the little things in life that nip at our legs.

The little things the world gives us to battle can become big things if we let them run amuck and unchecked. We should be humble in Christ and ask for His strength to overcome these challenges. In due time as we face the little challenges in life, God will exalt us:

1 Peter 5:6-7: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

I think we tend to ask God for help with the large obstacles in our life and neglect to ask for help with the little things. If we cast all our troubles to Him, he will exalt us in due time. What is due time? We in modern society want due time to be right now, this instant, no waiting. Yet due time is on God’s timeline, not ours. Maybe you will get relief from your little troubles right away, or like me and my anxiety, I’m on the long term plan of exaltation.

This verse, though says that He cares for us. He cares for us! Did you get that? God doesn’t want us to be unloved or forgotten about. He doesn’t work that way. He cares for us. Caring isn’t just a holistic concept. Like we care for friends and family, their livelihood, their trials, and their wellbeing every day, God is the same way. He cares for us not just with the big things in life that we face, but the little things also. Each day He is looking down, awaiting us to ask Him for His strength, to help us overcome, to get relief from those little things that can bring us down.

Philippians 4:6: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

With the little things in life that we face, they can grow like a tumor and overcome us, making our hearts sick or cold.  They can build up slowly and become big problems. Little things that build up will slowly wedge a chasm between you and your relationship with Christ and can sever our relationship with Christ. Don’t let this happen. Pray for God’s guidance. Let the Holy Spirit guide you on how to deal with your minor problems. The Holy Spirit will not lead you astray. I’ve never been lead astray be the Holy Spirit, I just don’t listen sometimes.

The Holy Spirit is the gift from God put in our hearts to ensure we stay on the right path, to give us godly guidance in our hearts. Trust the Holy Spirit to keep you straight on the path of righteousness. Trust the Holy Spirit for he will not disappoint you. You may not like the guidance that the Holy Spirit gives you, but the Holy Spirit is never wrong.

Take for example my anxiety. One of the triggers for my anxiety is being at work, a little thing, right? I know that it’s kinda weird to be anxious about work. For me, I haven’t figured out why, but it just is. It happens every day. Not so bad in the morning, but as the day goes on it gets worse and worse.

I pray for relief. Nothing. I pray for guidance on how to deal with it to make it less of an impact on my mind, heart, and body. The Holy Spirit has guided me on how to lower my anxiety. Sometimes it is stepping away from my computer. Sometimes it is going to talk to my Christian mentor. Sometimes it is just to breath slow and mediate on the Lord.

Most of the time the Holy Spirit inspires me to get the Word out and read at lunch. These things may not take my anxiety away completely but I do get a sense of peace in my heart and my anxiety is lessened greatly.  Pretty much the Holy Spirit tells me to take a break from myself and focus on something other than work, something that makes me happy:

Proverbs 12:25: “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.”

How we deal with the little challenges and obstacles put before us by Satan and the world can become overwhelming. This is especially true when they bombard us all at once, or even when they tap on our shoulder every day. How we deal with these little things is important not only for our wellbeing, but also our relationship with Christ.

We tend to try to handle the little things ourselves, when in fact; we should be casting those things to Christ as well, just like we do for the big things. I know I’m so used to dealing with the little things in my life that I had forgotten to give them to God to help me through them. I’ve also forgotten to thank the Lord for help with the little things that the Holy Spirit has guided me through.

I’ve researched and touched a little bit on the strength of the Lord and how to face the little things. My anxiety may not go away, for the Lord allows me to have it, but I do feel better now through exploring His Word on this; that I can, with confidence, be better at facing the little things that give me anxiety. I have learned that God just doesn’t care about the big things that we face in this world, but he also cares and wants to help with the little things that have caused us troubles.

I know there are people out there who have problems facing the little things in life that cause them anxiety and depression or worry. Take heart that our God cares and loves us. Christ won’t abandon you and the Holy Spirit will guide you through the maze of life and the world we are stuck in to ensure we find our way out and into the arms of Jesus.  

All Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible (KJV).