"I have become absolutely convinced that nothing in God's whole world has any power to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord."
"Nothing, Paul? What about death?"
"No, not death."
"No, not life."
"Messenger of Heaven?"
"No messenger of Heaven can do it."
"Monarch of earth?"
"Not even a monarch of earth."
"What happens today?"
"A power from on high?"
"No power from on high."
"No power from below."
"Anything else in God's whole world?"
"Nothing else whatsoever. Absolutely nothing."
"Paul, I think you forgot something."
"Love life. Matters of the heart. I'll take the floggings and the shipwrecks and the persecution--those are things people are supposed to bear for Christ. But what if the woman I love turns me down? What if the man I've got my eye on doesn't even look at me? What if I'm rejected? What if..."
"Oh. I never thought of that."
Is that the answer you'd expect the apostle to give? He'd forgotten all about love's terrors and pitfalls. If he'd thought of them, he would not have been able to say "in all these things we win an overwhelming victory." He wouldn't have said "nor anything else in God's whole world" would he? He'd have had to say "nor anything else except my passions, my poor broken heart, my miserable bad luck in my love life, has any power to separate me from the love of God." He'd have added that God can take care of the big things--Paul had plenty of proof of that.
Perhaps matters of the heart would seem like little things to Paul. I have a hunch they would. Well then--what about those? Can they put us beyond His love and redemption?
The point is that we have to learn to trust in little things, even in what may seem like silly things, if we are ever to going to be privileged to suffer in the big things. "The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted also in great; and the man who is dishonest in little things is dishonest also in great things. If, then, you have not proved trustworth with the wealth of this world, who will trust you with the wealth that is real."
Excerpted from "Passion & Purity" by Elizabeth Elliot.