“The devil is in the details.” I have heard this saying hundreds of times. This quick catch phrase offers some quick warning to those who want to skip right to go, ignoring the steps in between. It is a kind “beware” for someone to pay close attention to the little things that lead up to the big things, for if something is going to go wrong, within those little details will be the source of your misery. As a fan of the land of the details, I have often been a cheerleader of the phrase and have been prone to using it in my act-like-Martha-on-a-power-trip moments, warning others of their negligence and folly for ignoring those little but crucially important steps of a task. I am sure there have been times when my “be thorough” speeches have made people wonder if it was the details the devil was in at that moment. (Sorry for what I said when I was admin barbie y’all, I am going to claim coffee deficiency.)
So, sitting in Bible study this week, we were talking about just so happen moments. You know them. Those times after-the-fact that you look back and say, “it just so happened” and know that it was flat out God. You know that this little thing and that little thing and that thing over there leading to this thing over here had to be more than just an impossible coincidence. You look back at those details and know God made the impossible possible. It brought that old devilish phrase to mind and I thought to myself, It’s not about the devil in the details messing stuff up, it is about God in the details making good things happen from things that are messed up.
The rabbit trail did not end upon this revelation. Being the word nerd and history buff that I am, I wanted to know where that phrase “the devil is in the details” actually originated from. Guess what I found out?
It really was God.
The original phrase in German translated as “God is in the details”. Somehow along the way, the phrase morphed into letting the devil claim the credit instead. I guess it would be okay if we would like to credit the enemy with the trouble, but for me, he will never take credit for those moments of glory in which God uses those small details to turn it all around. Little things that led up to big things. Things we should pay attention to. I know every single time I have looked back at my life, taking inventory of those crazy moments that led to lessons, I knew the devil might have tried to mean it for harm, but my God was in the details.
And now even the history books prove it. Just more confirmation that even in the biggest times of trouble, God’s got this.
Now that is a detail you really can’t ignore.