I was little, probably nine, and my heart was broken.
I stared down at the thing in my hands. It was barely recognizable from what it was before. My little toy figure would never be able to ride my plastic horses again. Her leg had popped out of the socket, breaking the joint itself, and was left to dangle aimlessly in her pants. It was a sad, sad day for my younger self to comprehend. She could only sit awkwardly in my tiny plastic wheelbarrow and watch the horses she loved, mother and foal, gallop past her with all their legs intact. Worse, she was my only one. I had no replacement.
That is the day that has forever impressed itself in my memory. But not because of the loss of my little plastic doll. I look back at what happened now and laugh at myself. After all, it was only a toy. No, I remember that day because of what happened afterwards. I was crying. My mom came into my room. She was compassionate and understanding of my grief. I may have asked her, or she may have asked me, but somehow we ended up praying together. We prayed to God and told Him how sad I was. At the time, I was astounded. I still am. How could God ever care about a little girl’s broken heart over a mere toy?
God Cares About the Little Things Too
Matthew 10:29-30 says:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Even the hairs of your head are numbered. Um, wow. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even know how many hairs are on my head. Don’t downplay this verse. Don’t just think: “Oh well, God’s all-knowing, so yeah, I guess he’d know that.” Sure, God is all knowing, but the point is that He cares enough about you to pay attention to every little detail, including every tiny hair on your head.
Isn’t that amazing? How could the Creator of the Universe care about us enough to know a fact as insignificant as the number of hairs on our head? I think the Psalmist says it best:
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?Psalm 8:3-4
The God of the Universe cares about you– every detail about you. So don’t think for a moment that He doesn’t care about the little things.
Don’t Be Picky with Your Prayers
It’s one thing to say that God cares about the little things. It’s another thing to actually exercise that belief and bring everything, the big things, and the small things, to Him in prayer. I think all of us have the tendency to isolate God to certain areas of our lives. This is especially true when it comes to our prayer lives. We pray to God about some things, but then shy away from others.
We may never say it out loud, but sometimes we can feel sheepish praying to God about something like a birthday party, or a recital, or a school project. When we compare these things to other requests we could be making, like becoming more like Christ, they come off looking small and insignificant. They look so small in fact, that we think we shouldn’t even pray about them.
That’s where we go wrong.
It’s true, a birthday party is nowhere near as important as our spiritual growth or God’s glory. In fact, I’m sure most of us should actually pray for these things more. But that doesn’t mean that we are wasting our time, or worse, boring God, if we pray to Him about the smaller details of our everyday lives.
God never once told His children that we should be picky with our prayers. In fact, God wants us to bring everything to Him! 1 Peter 5:7 commands us to cast all our anxieties on Him. Not, “cast some of your anxieties on Him,” or, “only the ones that you think God will care about,” but all of them. Every. Single. One.
So don’t be picky with your prayers.
God cares about you. Your job. Your spiritual life. Your friends. Your family. Your struggles. Your joys. Your schoolwork. Your feelings. Your soul. And your sadness over a broken toy.
We Can’t Do Anything Without Him Anyway
But there’s one more reason we shouldn’t shy away from bringing all our requests to God. It’s simply this: We can’t even do the little things without His help. In fact, we can’t do anything at all without Him.
We are a dependent people. Everything we do, from breathing, to preaching the gospel, requires the sustaining grace of God. Life is hard– and we make it a whole lot harder when we try to live it on our own.
I’ll be honest and say that this has been a difficult lesson for me to apply to my life. I know in my head that I can’t do anything without God. Yet, my first instinct in any situation is to work through things on my own. Going to my parents or God is often the last thing that crosses my mind. This is why the realization that God cares about everything in our lives impacted me so much. It meant that I didn’t have to work through anything, even the small things, on my own. It also meant that I shouldn’t work through anything on my own. I shouldn’t because when I do, I’m saying that I don’t need God. And as we’ve already discussed, that isn’t true.
Recently I had a really difficult essay I had to complete for my English class. For some reason, my brain was not clicking with the prompt I chose. I rewrote my thesis half-a million times, and struggled through the paragraphs. When I told my parents that I was having a hard time, my mom asked, “Have you asked God to help you?”
Frankly, no. As I sat in front of my desk, wrestling with my essay, God had never come into the equation. It was all me. My strength. My brain. My ability to answer the prompt. It wasn’t that I was intentionally sweeping God under the rug. The thought just didn’t cross my mind.
When mom asked me that question, however, it was like a light bulb went off in my brain. Of course! Duh! Why wouldn’t I ask God? Why would I ever try to do anything, even a school project, without Him?
My Broken Toy
So what happened? I prayed with my mom, telling God about how sad I was, and then what? Well, eventually my parents were kind enough to buy me a replacement doll with both legs intact. She had a cowboy hat (which the other lacked) and a sparkly, hot pink vest. She was a true cowgirl.
But I walked away from that experience with more than a new toy.
I walked away with the immense comfort that God loves me enough to care about a little girl’s sadness, even if it was over something a little silly. If you are struggling with something today, no matter how small, don’t be afraid to turn to God. If you are His child, then He will help you and give you strength for every situation so that you can live for His glory. Of course, this doesn’t mean that if you ask Him to help you, you will automatically be granted success. This also doesn’t mean that everything will suddenly become easy. Even after I asked God to help me with my essay, I still continued to struggle. It was still hard. It does mean, however, that no matter how hard something is, if you are depending on God, you can be confident that He will give you the strength you need. And ultimately, our hope when we pray to God shouldn’t be in things going our way. Instead, it should be in the comfort that He will accomplish His will in our circumstances.
My broken toy taught me an important lesson. It taught me that God cares about the little things too. And if God cares about the little things, how much more does He care about our greater sorrows, our bigger disappointments, and our harder struggles?
How much more does He care about what you face?