“Little by little, inch by inch.
By the yard it’s hard, by the inch – what a cinch.
Never stare up the stairs - just step up the steps.
Little by little, inch by inch.” Ron Hamilton
Discovering you’re pregnant! Proudly state your need of eating for two. Going ahead and eating for two. Packing on the pounds because of your previous decision. Baby arrives. Needing to lose the weight you so happily added to your physique in the first place. Exercising like a mad woman to fit into your normal clothes once again. Weight taking its time falling off. You sigh. Such. Hard. Work.
Familiar with that scenario? Maybe stress from school/work/daily routine/crisis is making you cram into your mouth every mouth-watering carbohydrate in sight? It’s tough getting those extra pounds to leave. It takes more than just one day of just a few calories, eight glasses of water, and saying “no” to dessert to drop those pounds. Little by little – that’s how it’s done.
Learning to be like Jesus is much the same. Jesus didn’t come to Earth for a week and speed talk His way through the rules and teachings to His disciples. Those men were probably overwhelmed from the start, since they had left their livelihood and all they owned to follow Jesus. They really would have felt pressure if they had been allotted only one week to learn all about reaching the world.
No, no. Little by little. Jesus came and spent time with them by ministering to others -- leading by example. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me…unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Jesus answered questions and prepared them to be on their own. He also explained that when we failed to remember, He would gently remind us. “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14.26)
Listen to what Jesus said: “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.” (John 16:12) Do you see what this verse is screaming at us? Little by little. Step by step. Moment by moment. Day by day.
Sometimes we feel as though everything should happen overnight – at least I do. I will lose “x” amount of extra weight by tomorrow. I will totally be over-wanting “me” time – all the time - by tomorrow. I will not get angry at my family at all tomorrow. I will pray 30 minutes tomorrow instead of my usual minutes sandwiched in between child care duties. I will not get frustrated when life interrupts my schedule. I will slow down and share a listening ear to one of God’s dear children (without looking at the clock). And on, and on. Remember: little by little.
Jesus doesn’t expect us to go from zero to 120 in a few seconds; imperfect to perfect. All He asks is that we follow Him wholly and strive every second to be like Him. Whew! Relief floods in. Deep breathing allows the oxygen to flow and clear our minds. How much better can we follow Jesus’ example than by being relaxed and joyful about our circumstances? Tough times come – and go. Little by little, we press on. Good times of growing in grace come, as well. Little by little, we press on.
I have made a little craft project for a friend. Found this idea online (somewhere) and thought I’d give it a whirl. If you happen to do this project, take time to reflect on what you need to accomplish for your life to be fully pleasing to Jesus. But remember, little by little. Just as a rose bush creates beauty by starting with only one rose and increasing by one bud at a time, so we strive to be like Jesus – one step at a time.
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[½ price] flower and branch stem
Rocks, pebbles, clear gel or moss
If your project is for a gift – here is an idea for your card: “Becoming a beautiful creation of God is a process…one bloom at a time. The more you follow God, the more you grow and blossom until you are an eye-catching display of God’s workmanship.
Side note: I glued flowers onto both sides to make it look pretty either way my friend decided to turn it.