“For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.””
Zerubbabel was the man God had called to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. But this wasn’t done in a night.
Zerubbabel rebuilding the temple.
I think we can all relate to Zerubbabel. God calls us to do something and we wonder how will it ever be done? Sometimes things can seem so big to us. But temples are not built in a night, and neither are disciples, or families, or careers or callings.
Today I was listening to Mark Zeeman tell his testimony on how the Lord called him to be a missionary in Hungary, Budapest. The main point he wanted to bring up is how God used many small days and seemingly small things to guide and lead him to the point of being a missionary. I was inspired to recall and record for my readers how God did the same thing in my life. I would like to start off as Mark did, with an apologia for the abundance of details. It may seem like some of these details don’t matter, but God used a ton of small things to bring me to the current big thing of my life. So, even though it might seem like this post is going to drag on I want you to understand how God worked in my life and hopefully you will be encouraged to see God working in your life. You may not even see it, but God is working every day in your life through small things. I also want to point out though, that small bad choices eventually have big bad consequences. You can make a bunch of small good choices for God, or you can make a bunch of small bad choices for yourself… and you will reap what you sow of both of them.
The year is January 23rd 1989, and a screaming little baby boy is brought into this world. Two parents are overjoyed at having a boy, as they had prayed to the Lord for. The first thing that was noticed by one of these parents, Linda the mother, was how big her sons hands were. She felt at this moment that God would use those hands for great things in the service of the Lord. Both parents had grown up in California, one from a Catholic background and the other from a Quaker/Presbyterian background. To this little boy child they would give the name of Matthew, in honor of a friend of theirs. My mother was the one who had the harder time in life, she grew up a beach loving peace child. Unfortunately, she became involved with some bad influences on her life and went down a very self-destructive path of drugs and dating abusive boyfriends. This led her later on in her young adult life to accept Jesus as her savior and started to follow God. It took a while for the Lord to sanctify her and separate her from old habits, but she was well on her way along the path of righteousness. My father, grew up much earlier than my mother in a different time and a different era. He calls her his spring chicken. Eventually they met at a fireman’s dinner in the small mountain town of Wrightwood, CA and the rest was history. When they married is where both of their walks with God took off and they began to serve the Lord fully together. They went to a little home bible study in the town, which then outgrew the house and became a full fledged church. They had to move the study to the next town down the mountain, Phelan California, in order to rent a building for the study to continue in. Later on this church, which started under the name of Higher Ground, became a part of the Calvary Chapel movement under the leadership of a pastor named Larry Anderson. This is the church that I grew up in for my entire life, and up until the last year Larry has still been the pastor. I have been blessed to have a lot of stability in my life, which is why I started from my birth.
My testimony starts with the testimony of my parents, because if it had not been for them raising me and teaching me about Jesus then I would not have become the man that I am today. This should be an encouragement to parents, to raise their children in the ways of the Lord, so that when they are old they wouldn’t depart from it. What I appreciate the most about my parents, is that they are normal Christians who actually live it. When you live with someone, especially your family, you know if what they say they believe is actually what they really believe. I have heard my Dad cuss maybe once in my entire life. Let that be a rebuke to men today, even those men who serve God in a ‘higher’ capacity of being a pastor (hes a school teacher). He has never spoken to me unkindly that I can recall, and has always shown me mercy and has constantly been there for me, even when I was rude and rebellious to him. He has lived in integrity and has never cheated a man in money, has never lied when it comes to taxes or paying someone, and has been faithful to his wife and family for all the days of his life. Beyond that, he has been faithful to his parents in caring for them when they were sick and eventually passed away. I have seen my Father be faithful to my mom’s dad when he had cancer and took on the role of caring for that house even after his death up until the present. I have seen the faith of my father and learned from him how to be a Christian, though we have not had many conversations about the Lord and his Word. He taught me with his life. My mother is a prayer warrior, for as long as I can remember she has been praying for me and my sisters. I think it was her who first lead me to pray to Jesus for salvation before I could write my own name. Both of these people are not the ones you see all the time at the prayer meetings at church, they are too busy serving the Lord the way He called us to serve Him. In secret and truth, and with deeds rather than just words. I don’t want to say that they are perfect, because they are not. But if I could become half the man that my Dad is then I would consider my life a success.
There were many small days in my life with them. Days where I watched and learned even when I didn’t realize I was watching and learning. But it was from them that I began to understand that practicality of living what you believe, so much so that it has become a part of my nature without really knowing that it had.
I started out with a love for Jesus and from an early age I would tell others about Him. I remember being in 1st grade preaching the gospel along side of my friend, EJ Galindo, and telling others that it was important for them to accept Jesus so they wouldn’t have to go to hell. Jesus was my best friend and my relationship to Him was very real.
Unfortunately, like most kids, I began to experiment at a young age with sex. This partly had to do with being molested by a slightly older kid (a guy who was a few years older than me). He also did it to my little sister, and I remember trying to stop him but not being physically strong enough (I don’t remember exactly how young I was, but it was probably around 2nd grade). I don’t hold it against him though, the same was done to him and he was only continuing on the destructive cycle of sin; I forgave…
© 2012, Matt Camphuis all rights reserved.