Which would you rather deal with: a whale or a worm? If you’re like me, you may have just yelled (at least in your mind) a resounding, “NEITHER!”. But play along with me for a minute because I promise I am going somewhere with this.
If I absolutely had to choose, I would go with the worm…only because I am bigger and one good stepping on would probably take care of it.
Or would it?
I heard a message a few years ago by Pastor Amie Dockery that has always stuck with me. The title was “How the Worm Got What the Whale Could Not”. At this point, you are probably wondering what in the world is going on with all this whale/worm talk?! Well, we are referencing the story of Jonah who is famously known for his encounter with a whale. God’s plan to get Jonah back on track via the big fish worked. Jonah stopped running away and finally, carried out his assignment.
Most of us know that story but do you know what happened post-whale swallowing? Jonah had a serious melt-down…triggered by a worm.
Don’t you think it should have been the other way around? I mean a whale is a pretty big deal and he got hung up over a worm?
Before I get too critical of Jonah, I will confess I am guilty of this too. Just recently, I had my own whale/worm situation.
Last Friday, our AC went out…in the summer..in Texas. Okay, maybe it doesn’t really qualify as a whale moment but it was a moment for sure. When it happened, instead of complaining, I found myself actually thanking God…thanking Him that someone was available to do the repairs and that we had the provision to pay for it. Really, it was #attitudeofgratitude all the way. I was having a good Christian moment.
Then, I got on Facebook.
It didn’t take long for someone to annoy me and it stuck with me that entire afternoon. My halo that was shining so brightly just 5 minutes earlier wasn’t looking so sparkly anymore.
The worm got me.
Big thing? I was good. Small thing? I was not good.
Ironically, I had actually read the story of Jonah THAT DAY so I had to laugh at myself. Seriously, I was Jonah. The worm got what the whale could not.
With sandpaper, there is a grit number which indicates the size of the abrasive particles. When the particles are larger, more material can be removed. The smaller abrasive particles won’t remove as much material but it will produce a “finer, more polished appearance.”
We all have big defining moments in life that can really shape us. In Jonah’s case, according to scripture, God “appointed” the whale but He also “appointed” the worm. The fact is that every single day, we encounter the worms…the small particle sandpaper…the small stuff. We may dismiss it as pet peeves, irritations or annoyances but could it also be that the Refiner is at work? The next time we come face to face with our own, maybe even appointed worm, remember that big lessons come in small packages too.