We had an awakening moment in our house last week. Life had gotten very busy with kids going in various directions from the time school got out until 8:30. I had also started reading Harry Potter to the kids at bedtime, and that was important to them, so family scripture and prayer got rushed so that everyone was in bed and I could read. Or, sometimes I’d read a few verses of scripture from the hallway and everyone would fold their arms from their beds. Or, I would sing a quick Primary song and then pray while they were in bed. Or, it got forgotten all together.
Then one day I caught my boys breaking a serious house rule. You know, not the kind you just quickly reprimand and move past.
And suddenly we realized we were rushing (or missing all together) something critical in our lives. And it seems like such a small thing! We go to church, we pray at meals, we expect and teach good behavior, we even pray together as the boys are running out the door in the morning, but we were missing something vital. Small, but vital. We weren’t putting on our whole armor or getting our whole shield up. And, boy, did the adversary find that gap quickly. We had let our guard down.
When the boys were little, I had this visual of a force field encapsulating my home that would protect us from the fiery darts. Now that they are older and making more of their own choices and exercising their agency, it is getting harder for me to protect them, and more important than ever that I do everything I can to help them protect themselves. And the things they need are small.
Alma 37:6 in the Book of Mormon reads, “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass,” and that scripture never spoke more true to me than it did when I realized that the small task of gathering together to read from the scriptures and pray brought great protection. I mean, it only takes 15 minutes at the most. How could I shoo that away?
As I’ve watched dear women whom I love dearly leave the church, it has made me realize that Satan also only needs a small gap to gain a great hold. And he is ever watchful.
Over the summer I had let a seemingly insignificant thing creep back into my life, but it wasn’t insignificant because the Lord had told me to delete it from my habits. So, when I got my gentle reminder about exactness in obeying the laws of God, I made an immediate change. See, I have another image of us floating in the ocean, with sharks circling, watching for the smallest sign of weakness so they can attack and pull us down. And he’s so wiley, he knows just the small thing that can destroy us.
The amazing part is, we have someone on our side, ready to snatch us up when He sees the smallest chance as well. And He will give us gentle reminders about the small things we need to change or improve on so that we can become our greatest selves. The us that He knows and loves because He walked with us before. His love is no simple thing. It is vast and unfathomable, especially for me, who shows her weakness and unworthiness daily. He still loves me. He is still cheering me on. And He is helping me every small step of the way.