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To be honest, I have always had an easy time identifying “God moments.” Throughout high school, college, and my first few years of post-grad, I could pretty easily pinpoint how God was moving in and through my life, whether that was in my quiet time, my relationships, my heartbreak, opportunities, or something else totally unexpected but just as awesome. When I would read and hear stories of women who, for a time at least, could not identify where God was moving in their lives, I just could not relate. I did not think any less of them or their situations by any means, I just didn’t get it. As someone who tends to be overly optimistic and often downplays my negative emotions, I thought if you could not identify where God was moving in your life, then you were just not looking hard enough. And while there is truth to that, right now, I find myself in a season where I get it. More than ever before, I get how hard it can be to hold on to hope that God will move in your life when, at first glance, it seems like He has not moved in your life in a long time. So if you are reading this and that “BIG God moment” (like the ones you might be reading about in this series) feels out of reach for you, I am right there with you, sister!
But like I said, there is truth in the fact that if you cannot identify where God is moving in your life, then you are not looking hard enough. God is always working in our waiting, even when we cannot see the evidence of it in the present moment. I understand now more than ever that there are seasons (like the one I am in right now, and maybe the one you are in too) when this is easier said than done, but that does not make God’s power and presence in your life any less real. There just might be times when you have to look a little harder.
But what does looking a little harder actually mean? If this is easier said than done, how do we do the hard thing? I want to share a story with you, but tell it two different ways. One is told from a perspective of hopelessness, and one from a perspective of hope; that is, hope in God to move, even if in small ways. My hope is that through my little mini-moment “story,” you might be able to identify the “mini moments” in your own life as well.
It is 7:15 AM. I roll over, hit the snooze button for the fourth or fifth time, and feel little if any excitement for the day ahead of me. The chronic fatigue that followed me out of college (and that has gotten worse into adulthood) leaves me feeling totally unrested, even though I got a full night’s sleep. Once again I use this as the target of my blame for not waking up early enough to spend time with Jesus. Why even try when I have been battling this apparent inability to wake up on time for years? Instead, I rush to get ready, turn on worship music in the car, and read a couple Bible verses once I get to work. It is better than nothing, but does not leave me feeling truly connected to the Father.
I go about my work day, but find myself wishing it were over before it even started. Yes, I am glad to have a job after so many others lost theirs, and yes, I have found myself in worse jobs in the past. I should be thankful. But my heart deeply desires to do something in which I find passion, purpose, and opportunities to use my gifts. Instead, I answer phones, schedule meetings, and file paperwork with a smile on my face, but frustration in my heart. Why did God give me such clarity on my passions and gifts just to bring me to this? Why did He let that dream job opportunity fall through? Why am I still here, working a job that pays the bills (barely, it sometimes feels like) but does not fill me up?
I clock out, and drive to my doctor’s appointment. Another chronic health issue that has caused a whole lot of physical and emotional pain has brought me to this doctor’s office time and time again, but after multiple years of research, prayers, opinions, and treatments… nothing. I take a seat in the exam room wondering if maybe this time will be different, but honestly, I do not get my hopes up anymore. Every appointment ends with the same sympathetic look from my doctor as he all but tells me that I am a lost cause.
Coming home is the best part of the day, but I am exhausted by the time I walk through the door. A rushed morning, stressful work day, disappointing appointment, and chronic fatigue have me feeling ready to just go to bed, so forget the workout I was planning on doing when I got home (again) and I find myself resentful of the fact that I am too tired to be fully present for my husband. I clean up, cook dinner, do the dishes, and by then, I have maybe an hour or two before I have to get ready to go to bed and do it all over again. An hour or two a day to tend to the things I actually want to tend to never feels like enough time. I make a plan to knock out a few social media posts for my budding business, but I get stuck and only finish one of them. Once again, basically zero progress in getting this dream of mine off the ground.
I go to bed wondering how I can feel so exhausted yet show so little fruit for the day.
It is 7:00 AM. I am so tempted to hit the snooze button one more time, but I sleepily remind myself how much I need to spend time with Jesus, even if it is just for 15 minutes. I ask for energy to do the things I have to do that day even though I feel like I have none, starting with getting myself out of bed. I get up, sit down in the kitchen, read some Scripture, and pray for God to move in and through me that day and for me to be aware of His movement. I linger a little longer in prayer than I should, quickly get ready, and rush out the door. Thankfully, the worship song that comes on during my drive to work reminds me of what I had just read and brings me a sense of peace again. I forgot this in my rushing, so how sweet of God to remind me! Mini moment.
“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24 NKJV
I get to work, sit at my desk, and proceed to put extra thoughtfulness into every phone call and email answered, batch of paperwork processed, and information audited. As much as I wish my work situation were different, I ask to be thankful for the work that God has given me, and throughout the day, that thankfulness flows out through the way that I interact with my coworkers and others. I see the willingness and optimism that I bring to the workplace make a difference in their days, because even just a little bit of joy makes a difference in a mundane office setting. And there are some days (more days than not, honestly) where that joy could only come from Jesus, not from myself! Mini moment.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23a NLT
Later that day, I drive to my doctor’s appointment, hoping that I might come away with an answer this time. I have been praying for an answer for years, but I remind myself that I believe in a God who heals. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even on this side of heaven, but if not, He is still good. And although I have yet to experience healing, every wrong answer has served as one step closer to the right answer, and it is only by God’s provision financially that I have been able to take these “baby steps” towards finding the right answer. Without His provision in this way, I would be back at square one. Mini moment.
“What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31 NLT
I come home and cannot help but thank God for my wonderful husband, two sweet pups, and tiny but cozy little apartment. No matter what else is going on, I am so thankful for my little family and home. But I feel overwhelmed by all the things that I want to get done with my last few hours of the day, so I pause and ask God to guide my priorities, and I act accordingly. They are all good things, but there is no way I can do all of them in a day and do them all well. After eating dinner with my husband, I sit down to work on some social media posts for the business God has prompted me to start. I start to feel stuck creating the images, but writing comes naturally for me, so I get the captions written for now and call it good. Mini moment.
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NLT
I go to bed thankful for the fruit God is slowly producing in and through me, even though I might not see it yet.
I have lived out both of these days. More often than not, my days are probably a combination of the two perspectives. But I hope this story of moments shows you that no matter how hopeless we may feel, there are no areas in our lives that are void of “mini” God moments. I am hesitant to even call them “mini moments,” because the fact that the Holy Spirit lives inside of us is a God moment in and of itself, but I think you know what I mean.
But there is so much beauty in this; in the fact that God desires for us to pursue Him just as much as He pursues us.
And I want to draw our attention real quick to the idea of “fruitfulness.” A lot of my tears and heartache in this season have come from feeling like I am sowing seed, after seed, after seed, after seed, with no harvest in sight. Have you ever been there? And then you start to wonder if you are wasting your time and if you should just give up and move on?
But exactly what kind of “harvest” are we looking for? I know for me, a lot of it comes down to things that are outside of me; namely, physical healing and work that I am passionate about. Neither of these are bad things, but the fruitfulness of my life as a whole does not depend on them. The fruitfulness of my life depends on the work that God is doing in me. John 15:1-17 is a beautiful passage that expounds upon this, specifically verses 5-8:
““Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” John 15:5-8 NLT
And where does God do this work in you and me? In the mini moments. In the big God moments too, but probably more often than not, in the small moments. It is in the seasons of planting and sowing that God produces fruitfulness in us, even though we often cannot see the “harvest” of that fruit until later. As John 15:1-4 tells us, it is through these moments of apparent fruitlessness that God refines us:
““I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:1-4 NLT
And here is the thing: I have faith that God will bring physical healing into my life, and I have faith that God will bring work that I am passionate about. It is less often a matter of “no” as much as it is a matter of “not yet.” But that does not make the pain of the present moment any less real. So if you are in a season of sowing with me, what can we do to make it better while we wait for the harvest of our prayers?
I challenge you to ask yourself these three questions:
I am learning that if I center my life around the glory of God, the good of others, and small steps of obedience, God will do the rest. I have always known this, but it is one of those lessons that I am finally just now getting despite the fact that I have always known it to be true. God is opening my eyes to the fact that I will not miss out on the fruitfulness He has for my life if I love Him, love others, and take the small steps of obedience He calls me to. And while God calls each of us to unique things, there are also things that He calls all of us to; namely, loving each other. No small step of obedience that He calls us to will not have a core theme of loving Him and loving others.
““I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:9-17 NLT
And the more we love God, love others, and live in obedience in the seemingly small and simple mini moments, the more God will take our faithfulness and produce a fruitfulness in us that would be impossible for us to muster up on our own.
So if you are feeling stuck in a season of fruitlessness, remember this: God is working in your waiting, even if you cannot see it. But you can see Him moving if you look hard enough. Seek Him out in the small moments, respond with small steps of obedience, and He will produce a fruitfulness in your life that you could never produce on your own.
Tiffany is a 20-something from Louisville, KY, where she is supporting her husband through med school and chasing her dreams on the side. She is passionate about cultivating communities and conversations centered around helping others feel seen, known, and loved for who they are and who God created them to be. A 9w1 and “extroverted homebody,” her ideal weekend is spent planning and hosting the perfect dinner party, and she has a special place in her heart for brides and newlyweds.
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