Consider this very short and pithy statement from Hartley Coleridge: “If we take care of the inches, we will not have to worry about the miles.” It is very much like a proverb, is it not? Truth is always profound.
It is a truth that is deeply meaningful, given the perilous times we live in today. To one degree or another, most of us have, for perhaps decades, studied and pondered various events or conditions that God has forewarned us about through many different prophecies. Who among us has not also, at one time or another, become overly anxious in these contemplations? Very likely, some of these events may not be all that many miles down the road from us presently. So now, with all the years or decades of foreknowledge behind us and the prophetic fulfillment potentially on the horizon, what do we do?
Now is the time to double down on the inches that we take care of each and every day. The manner in which we do that will determine how we manage the miles ahead. Christ said, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10). Are we faithful in the very tiniest of our daily decisions? A faithful decision is one that is made based on the truth that is revealed in God’s inspired word. Do we meet a negative attitude in someone else with a positive one? Do we consciously turn away from covetous thoughts that come to mind and bring them into subjection to Christ? Are we thankful in every circumstance, everyday – whether easy or tough ‒ because we fully believe that all things truly do work together for good to those who love God? If we’re faithful in the daily decisions we make, seemingly an inch at a time, then the miles ahead will take care of themselves.
The little things we do by faith now are setting our character for the sobering fulfillment of God’s previous forewarnings. That’s why this statement from Hartley Coleridge is so profound. We have an adversary, however, who wants us to focus on the miles ahead, without faith, and thereby lose sight of the foundation that is being built in us inch by inch, day by day, right now!
The faith on which our foundation is built is of God and therefore miraculous. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
We must boldly take advantage of every inch of ground we traverse each day. “’For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:37-39). It is by faith that the miles ahead will be covered, whether in life or in death. By faith, therefore, let us focus on the inches that we take care of each and every day!