Every Little Thing

God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant…So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

Exodus 2:24-26

I was reading this scripture a few months ago. As I had been diving into God's relationship with Israel while they were in captivity in Egypt, I took a moment to write down in my journal a simple prayer: God, I want to be open. Would You reveal yourself, your heart to me? 

I don't know what I expect, really, when I ask God to reveal Himself to me. Is it in words? Is it a miraculous sign? Is it peace? An amazing mystery about God is that He can pretty much find a way to reveal Himself through anything.

And during this week, He did just that.

In order to share this moment, I have to first step back about 11 years. It was the most difficult time for our family as we grieved the sudden loss of my little brother, who was only 7 years old. He had always loved picking the red balloons at Red Robin, and so at his memorial service, hundreds of people gathered together, grief paralleling hope, and released a sea of red balloons into the sky as we looked toward the heavens. 

Balloon releases have continued for us every year and we use them as a marker for my family to gather and remember. We were each given this small gift of a little boy figurine holding a balloon that says "Hope." It seemed to encapsulate these moments for us so well. 

Soon after getting my gift, however, it fell over, and the tiny little hand that was smaller than the size of a pea broke off. My mom got me a new one shortly after, and the same exact thing happened again. 

At first I tried to hang onto it, promising myself that I would glue it back on. But over five years, four moves and a million packed boxes later, it was lost for good. I tried not to feel guilty about the incompleteness of it; but every time I looked at it, I was disappointed again. 

We are still in the process of that fourth move into our little farmhouse, and disorganized boxes and tubs are still scattered around us as we filter through what we need. 

As I opened the box of items that had been on my nightstand, I pulled out that little boy holding the hope balloon. Everything else was still in tact, but his tiny hand was still broken, still incomplete. I held him up and sighed. I just really wish I had his hand again, I silently thought to myself. 

My thought was fleeting, and I quickly turned around to go about my morning. My (at the time) one-year-old son, Oliver, had been sitting behind me playing on the floor. When I turned around to pick him up, I saw something small sitting next to him on the floor. 

I squinted and got closer. It can't be, I thought. 

Over five years, four moves and a million packed boxes later? Having not seen a trace of it after all those years? 

It was. The tiny hand was sitting right next to Oliver. And I picked them both up and started laughing. I grabbed the boy figurine and held the hand up where it had been missing. Every tiny groove and edge fit right into place. 

You see, I had written a simple prayer with an open heart: that God would reveal his heart to me. 

He responded by letting me know that even the smallest of concerns is not too small for Him. In fact, my fleeting thought was an embarrassingly far cry from the desperation of the Israelites in their captivity and oppression. But no concern is too small, no request too big, and everything little thing in between is seen by Him. He already knew my thoughts, and He chose in that moment to let me in on it—with something so impossibly small that would inevitably mean a lot to me. 

I'll never know the answers to a lot of extremely difficult and confusing things in my earthly life. It's something that can be unsettling, even causing justifiable doubt or seasons of questioning. 

But what I can't deny is my story with Jesus—the way this tragic thread in my life continues to be woven into beautiful moments of art that only my Maker can fully understand. 

Slowly and surely, He reveals Himself to me as I ask and have courage enough to open my heart. 

So to you, my friends, let this be encouragement: 

He has heard you,

He remembers you, 

He looks upon you,

And he is concerned about you.  

As for me, I need to go find some super glue. 

Thanks for joining me,

Jamie L. Robison