God Can Do Great Things with Our Smallest Offerings – Advent 2023


The Christmas Story illustrates to each of us that God can take something small or unsuspecting and do marvelous things with them. In this talk, speaker Mallory Smyth offers a profound meditation on this simple truth, encouraging you to offer your life to God and rejoicing in the beauty He will bring out of it.

Thank you for watching and participating in this retreat!

Not Registered, yet? Don’t miss the rest of the talks! Register for the Pray More Retreat!


Audio MP3

Click here to download the audio file.

Printable Study Guide PDF

Click here to download the printable study guide.

Printable Transcript PDF

Click here to download the transcript of the video presentation.

Reflective Study Guide Questions

For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20

1. In this talk, Mallory references Micah 5:2 which reads:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clansof Judah,out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.

What are some of the other ways the Christmas story highlights the ways in which God can take someone or something unsuspecting and imbue it with meaning and significance?

2. Each of us has something that we don’t think is good enough. What makes you compare yourself to others? What is something you hold back from offering to God?

3. Have you ever seen God do great things with something small you’ve offered him?

4. How can you give the Lord permission this season to work wonders with your offering to Him?

Text: God Can Do Great Things with Our Smallest Offerings

Hey everyone, I’m Mallory Smyth, and I am so grateful that you are joining me for this session as we discuss how God can do great things with the smallest of our offerings. So let’s start in a prayer.

Opening Prayer

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Lord God, we come to you today knowing acutely how often we feel inadequate. But Advent is a time in which you remind us that you do not see inadequacy when you look at us, but you see opportunity, that if we will only offer you the things that you have given us, even if we think that they are unimpressive, that you can do more than we can ask or imagine with those things. That is a story of a great God who reaches down onto this earth and continually, over and over again, makes miracles.

So, Lord, before we even get started, we just offer you our insecurities. We offer you the things that we look at that we don’t like, that we look at and think aren’t impressive to a world that requires so much, that that tells us that there is perfection to reach when we know we cannot reach perfection, and we just offer it to you in faith. Lord, when we ask you to show us what you can do, when we will offer you just the smallest of things in our lives, and we pray that this time we’d give you glory, Amen. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

The Story of St. Andre

So I wonder if you’ve ever played the game, whenever you give somebody the first letter of your middle name and then they guess what your middle name is. Well, I used to love this game, because no one could ever guess my middle name. My middle name starts with an A, and so whenever I would tell people that, they would start guessing things, like Anne, or Alice, or Anna. And they would always get it wrong no matter how much they tried, because my middle name is actually Andre, which is not very common.

So, I am Mallory Andre. And growing up my parents told me that because my middle name was Andre, that there was no such thing as St. Andre, and so my patron saint was St. Andrew. And obviously, this was something I didn’t care very much about, but it just always stuck with me. So imagine my surprise when over last year I was sitting reading Meg Hunter-Kilmer’s book, “Saints Around the Worlds” to my daughters, when I opened up and saw the story of St. Andre Bessette.

There is a St. Andre, and I was very excited to read about him. And so I would not let my kids choose the story that night, because we were going to learn about my long lost patron saint. So here is a little bit about St. Andre Bessette.

St. Andre Bessette was a sickly, weak and unimpressive man. It seemed like he wasn’t good at anything. Right, like a great start for the story about my patron saint. But he loved God, and he wanted to join the Holy Cross Brothers, but the Holy Cross Brothers did not want him. They were not impressed by him, they did not think he had anything to offer. But the bishop saw something in St. Andre, and so he forced the Holy Cross Brothers to let him into their order.

Wanting to get rid of him, not wanting him around very often, or certainly not wanting him making any trouble, they decided to make him the door opener. And so that was his job, simply to open the door, and let people in to the monastery. And so, he took that job very seriously, and while he wasn’t supposed to make any trouble, the Holy Cross Brothers were wrong about St. Andre.

As people started coming to the door, they would ask him for prayers, and when he would pray for them, miracles would occur. And so words started to spread about St. Andre, and more and more people started coming to the door. Right, and more and more people started writing him letters asking for prayer, so much so, that it ended up being that he was answering 80,000 letters a year. He needed four secretaries to help him. Right, and he was always very humble about this, and he always just attributed the miracles to the effect that he was devoted to St. Joseph.

He loved St. Joseph. And whenever he died, a million people came to pay their respects at his funeral. Right, God can do incredible things if we will simply offer Him the smallest most unimpressive things that we think He couldn’t use in our lives.

Micah 5:2

Now, the story of St. Andre reminds me of one of my absolute favorite Advent prophecies that we read every year around this time, and it comes from the book of Micah 5:2. And it says this, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth from me, one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from old, from ancient days.” Right, “You, O Bethlehem, small among the clans of Judah, from you shall come one who is to be ruler.”

Right, Bethlehem is only famous today, because Jesus Christ was born there, right? That’s where the manger scene took place. Right, that’s where there was no room at the inn, and Mary and Joseph had to go and have Jesus in a stable, right, and place Him in a manger. Right, it was never influential, it was always small. And the only thing it was known for before Jesus was born there, was that it was also the birthplace of King David. But that’s it.

Right, today we would consider it a one-horse town with nothing going for it, not a place that you’d want to say that you’re from. And yet it boasts of being the birthplace of God. Right, God loves to take small things and do incredible things with those small things.

God Uses the Small Things in Our Life

In Zechariah 4:10, it says this. It says, “For whoever has despised the day of small things, shall rejoice.” What does it mean to despise the day of small things? Like what an interesting thing to say. And it’s simply pointing out our tendencies to not like the things in our lives that seem small or hidden. Right, or seem like they would be nothing to the world.

Right, I know, I’m a mother of four children, and there have been many days that I have felt like my years are so hidden that God could never use them for His glory. And yet, when I was a young mother, and I was up in the middle of the night changing my first daughter’s diaper, thinking about how no one in the world knew that I was up, and no one knew that I was changing this little person’s diaper, she didn’t even really know at a certain extent. I heard the Lord say to me, “I am using this to make you holy.”

Right, He uses all of it, and yet it is so easy to look at what He has given us and diminish it in our own eyes. To look at what He has given us and think that it could never be good enough for Him to use. And yet, God is the God who raises up saints like St. Andre Bessette, who seemingly have no talent, and uses small cities, like the city of Bethlehem, to bring about the salvation of the world.

Advent is a Time to Rejoice

Advent is not a time for us to despise small things. Advent is a time to rejoice that God uses the day of small things. He uses the hidden moments of our lives. He uses the things that we just wish were better to do more than we could even ask or imagine. And if we look over the history of Christianity, that’s what He’s always doing. Right, He used a death on a cross, which seemed to be complete defeat, to bring about the salvation of the entire world.

Our God is the God of small things. Right, in the gospels, and it’s one of my favorite stories because of this. Right, when Jesus is preaching to the 5,000, and they’re hungry, they have nothing to eat. Right, a young boy offers Jesus two loaves and two fishes, and then Jesus uses that to feed everyone, with more left over.

Each of us have two loaves and two fishes. Each of us have something that we don’t think is good enough. And the question is, will we offer it to God and see what He can do with it, or will we hide it saying it’s just not good enough? Because if we hide it and we say it’s just not good enough, then we’ll never see what God can do with it.

Over the next few weeks, I invite you to look into your heart and to look into your life. What is it that you don’t like? What is it that you think is so small? When you look at someone else and you compare yourself to someone else, what do you think it is about them that makes them seem so much more worthy than you?

What if instead, you thought about St. Andre Bessette, who was basically demoted to door opener. Or the city of Bethlehem that was used to bring about the salvation of the world, and instead of despising the small things in your life, lay them before God in adoration, at mass in prayer, and say, “Lord, I would like to join these things that I think are so small to the mysteries that I am called to ponder over this Advent. Will you do something with them?” Because you never know how He is going to use it to either make you holy or to bring about His glory in your community.

A Reflection for Advent

So, as we close in prayer, we’re going to take a bit of an extended reflection on Micah 5:2. So, if you will pray with me. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Lord, I am always in awe of just how much you told us what you were going to do in scriptures. And what I love about Micah 5:2 is that you show us that nothing is too small for you, that you do not look upon us the way the world looks upon us. That you do not look at the outside the way the world looks at the outside, but you look at the heart. And you decide from there what you can do in a life and with a life. And so I read, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little among the clans of Judah, from you, shall come forth from me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from old, from ancient days.”

Lord, from the smallest of the clans of Judah, your word, your Son, who was with you at the beginning of the world, came forth. Right, the entire cosmos shifted. The world was different. The soul felt its worth in the presence of this tiny town.

Lord, there are things in our lives that seems small among all the greatness in the world. There are traits that we have that we don’t think you can use. Lord, in the same way that you were so faithful in Bethlehem, I ask you to be faithful to us. Show us what you want us to lay before your feet, that you could use it for the sake of your glory. “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from old, from ancient days.”

Lord, I ask that you show us what we want to hide from you and diminish in our lives. Give us a glimpse of how you want to use it in the same way that you gave the Israelites a glimpse in this prophecy of how you would bring about its fulfillment.

Lord, I ask that if we have any shame around these small things, if we truly despise any of these small things, Lord, that you would move our hearts out of that shame, and that you would move our hearts to rejoice, because it is not about us and our inadequacy, but it is about you and your sufficiency.

You are all sufficient. Lord, we lay before you these things. We name them in our hearts right now. Take them from us and use them as you have done so, over and over again, for the sake of your glory, for the sake of your holiness, and for the sake of your kingdom, Amen.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

About Mallory Smyth

Mallory Smyth is a national speaker, writer, and content creator for Walking with Purpose. She is the author of the book Rekindled, and has also written the WWP Bible Studies, Reclaiming Friendship, and Rooted and Radiant.

Mallory has been in full time ministry for the past 11 years. She joined Walking with Purpose out of a deep desire to help women come to know Christ personally through the transforming power of His word. Having worked with college students as a FOCUS missionary, and now in women’s ministry, it is her dream to see Catholics fall deeply in love with God and grab hold of the joy offered in the Gospel.

Mallory lives in Denver with her husband, Jared, and their four daughters.

You can learn more about Mallory at www.mallory-smyth.com