I’ve learned so many things while living out here on a farm with the Yeagers. Now I know a tiny little something about farming, rice, soybeans, harvesting, watering, monstrous mosquitoes, and fields of frogs – just to name a few. (When I get a chance, I can’t wait to show you some pictures from our visit to watch the rice being cut!)
From first hand experience, I’ve wittnessed what gracious servant hospitality and friendship looks & feels like. And, I’ve learned to be content & grateful for the many little things God has placed in our lives as we continue to wait upon & with Him for our future home in this town.
I’ve learned some valuable things from Linda, our gracious hostess and friend. But one of the most valuable investments she’s made in my life is this phrase: “What does it matter?”
When I’ve been on the stressed side of our circumstances, when our house closing date here continues to be pushed back, when I can’t “control” something I want to, when the details aren’t falling into place as quickly or as orderly as I wish they would… Linda will say, “But what does it matter?”
That question makes me stop and realize that few of those things I tend to stress over really matter at all. They might matter for the moment, but in the whole scope of life, and in the fulfilling of God’s plans for me or my family, they just don’t matter.
I’ve realized that if I can logically give an answer to “What does it matter?”, and the answer doesn’t make me roll my eyes at my own foolishness, then it must really matter. But 9 times out of 10 lately, that hasn’t been the case.
The Lord has been working with me a lot lately on the subject of contentment. For me, asking “What does it matter?” has become an excellent question.
Of course I’d like for everything in my world to be neat and perfect. I’d like for each outfit to fit beautifully & have precisely coordinating handbag & shoes. I’d love for my home to be well decorated & spotless. (Ha ha – I’d love to have a home – grin.) I’d like for my children to always be clean & dressed neatly. I’d like for my nail polish to never chip, & my stomach to be skinny & flat. And I’d really like organized communication from every group anyone in our family participates in!
Sometimes these things drive me crazy! But in the scheme of life, “What does it matter?”
Answer: it doesn’t.
The better question is “What DOES matter?”
Answer: Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does The Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?”
“What does matter?” That we love God and love others, obey God, and walk humbly with Him. This sums up everything that is truly important.
If we are spending our energy and focus on humbly loving and obeying God while loving others, we will have God’s wisdom and strength to accomplish all of the other things in life that do matter.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for the cute outfits and painted nails and beautiful home, etc… But I’m learning a little more about how to keep these things in their proper places. Its a work in progress. A work that definitely DOES matter!
Because YOU matter to me, I’ll challenge you with the same challenge I’m giving myself: The next time we are feeling the blood pressure rise and stress washes over us about any particular issue – large or small, let’s ask ourselves “What does it matter?”. Better yet, let’s ask The Lord that question. If we don’t have a sound answer, let’s pray to LET IT GO and cling to those things that DO matter – humbly loving God and others and obeying our Lord.
When we move from the Yeagers farm, I’ll take many lessons learned from this priceless experience, but “What does it matter?” might just be the most valuable lesson of all!