Let me begin by saying that big things do indeed come in small packages.
I meet with a group of men every week. There are seven of them and they are high functioning, bright and motivated men. They are also strong believers. The goal of the group is encourage, instruct, and mentor them. I hold a strong belief that each will go on to serve our church with distinction. They already do. I’m just trying to encourage more.
Funny how often they end up encouraging and mentoring me.
Several years ago I was in Jerusalem, on a Holy Land tour, and our group stopped to shop at a store that sold hand-carved olive wood figures of Bible characters and motifs.
I saw one that I fell in love with, it was Jesus with an outreached arm grasping the hand of Simon Peter to lift him out of the water. He was in the water because he had taken his eyes off of Jesus and began sinking in the churching waves of the Sea of Galilee.
It resonated deeply because in many ways I am Simon Peter.
Because I, like Simon Peter, yearn to walk on the water with Christ. I start off with faith and good intentions but often falter through self-determination and self-dependency. What happens? I sink, every time.
The olive wood figure spoke to my soul, not only because I identify with Peter’s sinking, but because like Peter, Jesus always lifts me up, every time.
I didn’t buy the figure because it was way out of my price range, but I never forgot about it, and have spoken of it often. I’ve even “drooled’ over it on subsequent Holy Land trips, but again, its price was always over my head. (no pun intended)
Then yesterday a small package came to the church office. Inside was the very figure. Actually, I had held it again three weeks ago in the store in Jerusalem. Some friends who were with me on the tour gathered around to say that my men’s group had arranged for its purchase and delivery to Houston. They had even recorded a video message that I saw in the store on a cell phone.
I wept with tears of joy and overwhelming gratitude.
I’ll conclude with the beginning. Big things do come in small packages. You know what else comes in small packages? The bits and pieces of time, trust and fellowship that form great friendships with great friends.