Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Peace Perfect Peace"1 (Lyrics)
I grew up in a small town, and even though I have lived in a big city most of my life, I still claim Mossyrock, Washington, USA, as my hometown. There were 32 of us in my high school graduating class, and none of us would be too hard-pressed to name everyone in our class. How different this school setting was from that of my friends who had 400 in their graduating classes!
This small rural community is set like a jewel in the beautiful foothills of the Cascades mountain range, and is surrounded by lakes and parks. The name is ear-catching to be sure, but, to my amazement, in my travels around the world, I have met people in far-flung places who have heard of Mossyrock! Perhaps they know someone from Mossyrock, or possibly they have gone camping or boating at one of our parks, but the little town itself seems to be notable.
It has warmed my heart to learn from time to time of someone from Mossyrock who has done something of note. We may not have many powerful or famous people from our little town, but there are many who have led respectable lives, contributing much to the world around them. Personally, it has been immensely encouraging and affirming to me to have childhood friends who have faithfully served the Lord Jesus throughout their lives.
Jesus Himself grew up in the small town of Nazareth, which led Nathanael to question His credentials.
John 1:46a – "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. (NIV)
There may have been more to Nathanael's question than meets the eye, but he did seem to wonder how Jesus could merit consideration, coming from Nazareth.
Paul expressed the concept of "small but mighty":
1 Corinthians 1:27 – But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (NIV)
As we look at our own lives and our own situations, do we compare ourselves negatively to someone else whom we consider to be smarter, richer, more powerful, or better in some other way? It is wise to recognize that God made us and mapped out our lives precisely for our own time and place in history.
Psalm 139:16 – Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (NIV)
Let each of us be thankful for our birth families, where we grew up, and where our life's path has taken us!
Prayer: Dear all-knowing Father, may we be grateful for who You have made us to be, and for all that has gone into forming us as we are. May we be content with our own lives without wishing them to be otherwise. Amen.