As I was walking up the gigantic hill towards my NYC apartment, I noticed a silver 10-cent coin glistening in the sun. I heard the Lord’s still, small voice whisper, “Pick it up.”
My quick and unfiltered response was: “That’s silly, I don’t need 10 cents, plus the guy sitting on the stoop will think I’m pathetic, or poor, or something equally as embarrassing.”
I about jumped back, ready to rebuke myself. I was a pretty appalled at my response to the simple request of the Lord.
But He wasn’t surprised, or disappointed.
As I continued up my stairs, leaving the dime behind, I felt Him overwhelm me with peace and assure me He was ready to teach me and heal me.
So let me just briefly share the little (and incomplete) list of areas my mind had yet to be renewed in, revealed to me in that moment.
- I was too tired to say yes to God, so there were things in my life that were getting the energy and attention that should be reserved for Him.
- I was afraid of what someone else thought, and their judgment of my financial status, not to mention my association of being poor with being embarrassing and shameful.
- I didn’t value 10 cents enough to stop and pick it up.
While the first two are really big deals (and ones I want to talk about sometime) I want to focus on #3.
Ten cents. It’s what you would give a 5-year-old for picking up their toys or something, right? Basically, not worth much.
But in that moment, I was reminded of the incredible trial I went through over the first three years of my business, when I did need 10 cents in the worst way.
Well, I actually needed a lot more than 10 cents, but ultimately I valued money of all shapes and sizes. I was looking for any way the Lord wanted to provide for me in that tough season when business was slow and rent still needed to be paid.
Those were the days that I absolutely despised my small beginning.
Everything felt too small.
My business was too small because I wanted to hire an army of people the day I filed my incorporation papers.
My reach was too small because I wanted to travel the world and feed the multitudes the day I got saved.
My voice was too small because I wanted to speak in front of thousands to tell them about the amazing baptism of the Holy Spirit the day I got “Spirit-filled” and miraculously began speaking in tongues (an experience which, at the time, I did not believe was possible, and if it was possible, I assumed it was not God … until of course it happened to me and changed my life forever).
All that to say, it took the Lord’s teaching and guiding to show me how DESPERATELY I needed a small beginning. I needed to lay a foundation with the Lord and learn how to hear Him in the little decisions.
I began to love ministering to just one person at a time.
I loved hearing the Lord speak specific things to me about an individual that I could not possibly know, and feel His love for them personally.
It was incredible to see His lost and lonely children realize they were intimately known to the God of the universe!
Eventually, I got to see Jesus heal people’s bodies in ways that blew even my own mind.
But it was all one person, one little prayer at a time.
And I am still in a season of “small,” I would say, but because I stopped looking at my small circumstances and judging myself as a failure for not having “big,” I saw the value in and really loved my “very small” beginning.
As I learned more about Him and His Kingdom and stewarding what He had given me, the Lord was able to trust me with more people to love, more money to give away, more spiritual gifts to bless others with, more time to volunteer, and more opportunities to do the things that I love with Him.
So the other day, I walked into the subway station and saw a beautiful quarter on the ground right in front of a row of people sitting, waiting for the train.
You better believe I didn’t bat an eye to stop and pick that thing up!
As I sat down to join in on the waiting—feeling very blessed and excited that I didn’t let the fear of man strike again, and that I learned my lesson from the 10 cents I chose to leave behind a few days prior—I looked up to find ANOTHER quarter closer to the platform edge.
I laughed to myself and to God because I still didn’t “need” a quarter or two, but it was just the Lord showing me that when you follow Him, He will always lead you to more.
It’s just that easy.
So don’t despise where you are. Know you are going somewhere in His perfect timing and every step is valuable. Keep an eye open for even the smallest opportunities (like picking up a dime) to show Him you can be trusted to value all that He gives you and so you can learn and be trusted with more!
And in case you were wondering, as soon as I got on the train, a homeless man walked in asking for spare change. As it turns out, I had 50 cents burning a hole in my pocket just for him.
I heard the Lord whisper, “I know you didn’t need it, Carla, but he did. So thank you for being My provision for him.”
Because in the Kingdom, someone is always on the other end, waiting to share and benefit from your victory.
The world needs your small beginnings just as much as you do.