Blog | Lindsey Smallwood


Consider Your Ways

Lindsey Smallwood

A couple of weeks ago, I preached on Haggai 1. It's one of those prophetic passages that almost doesn't need exposition because God's invitation to the people is so clear.

(But, like, I love to preach so yeah, for sure, I'm going to go ahead and exposit my heart out.)

After being released from captivity in Babylon, the people return home and have been there for 20 years or so when Haggai steps up to the mic with this (translation mine):

Why are you living in nice new houses when My house lies in ruins?

Have you noticed that when you eat, you're still hungry, that when you work, you never make enough money?

It's not an accident. I've interrupted your personal kingdom building because you ought to be building mine instead.

Consider your ways.


Knife to the heart.

Because building my own kingdom is my speciality. And receiving God's correction is not something I always do with joy.

For more on Haggai 1 - and a bit of Resurrection Hope as we continue in the Easter season, check out the links to the sermon below.



Little Girl Lost

Lindsey Smallwood

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love.

from the hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

I love stories. I love telling them, I love hearing them, I love reading them, I love writing them. 

Truth is revealed in stories. Capital "T" truth certainly, about things like God and justice, but also smaller truths about who we are, where we come from, what matters to us.

In the Bible, the Old Testament mostly reads like one story, replayed over and over again in different settings. That story has three main parts:

  1. The Israelites are lost/enslaved/pathetic/hopeless/wandering.
  2. God compassionately rescues them and commits His love and care to them.
  3. The Israelites are thankful for a time and then walk away from their covenant with God. 

And repeat. 

And repeat.

And repeat.

In God's great love, He sends prophets to warn the people not to wander, to beg them to return to His safety, His good plan, His peace. Those prophets often used stories - metaphors and parables - to communicate the hard but necessary truth.

Ezekiel was a prophet like this. In chapter 16, he confronts the people of Jerusalem about their wandering hearts by telling a story. It begins:

4 On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. 5 No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised. 

Here we are at step 1, lost & pathetic. 

Ezekiel goes on to tell the story of a girl abandoned in a field who is found by a king. The king lavishes his love and his wealth on her and she grows up beautifully. They're then married (not as weird as it sounds to us in our cultural moment) but happily ever after goes south when she is unfaithful to Him.

Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. The same story told anew. 

It's the story of God and Israelites. 

It's the story of God and me. 

Rescued, loved and then - wandering. Wandering in self-obsession, wandering in busy-ness, wandering in doubt.

I don't like finding myself in this story. Yet it's a powerful reminder that even when I am unfaithful, He calls me back to His gracious embrace.

I wrote the following song as a meditation on Ezekiel's story. There's an ache to the third verse that sticks in my throat. As I sing it, I remain thankful for a God who welcomes me in His love even as I'm prone to wander again and again.

There’s little girl lost and abandoned

Naked & lying alone

Dirty neglected unwanted by all

The old field now her only home


Walking along on the highway

He sees her so tiny and cold

He speaks her “Life!”

And holds to his heart

The little girl now his own


Little girl do you know who you are?

Do you know the sad place where you come from?

But the wonderful king has taken you in        

Now instead of rejection, a welcome

Little girl lost, welcome home


Growing into something lovely

She promises love to the one

Who has made her his own

And given a home

To the girl, now a woman become


Such beauty is too much to fathom

How the king loves to behold the sight

As she sings unaware

That he watches her there

She shines like a star in the night


Little girl do you see who you are?

Are you dreaming of places you’ll go to?

With the wonderful king who’s looking with love

At the woman that you’ve grown into

Little girl lost, now home


But this woman, so royal and lovely

Has forgotten who made her that way

So she takes her king’s love

To the arms of someone

Who will use her and toss it away


As the king waits at home in their bedroom

He weeps for the heart of his bride

He knows that she’s gone

But remembers her song

And the promise he made to his wife


Does she remember the little girl lost?

Does she remember who paid the great cost?

As she walks away

As she turns her head

As she runs from his house

To another man’s bed

Only to become the little girl lost, again.


Have you experienced God's rescue? Where does your heart tend to wander? Praying that today you would find grace in the incredible truth of God's faithful love.