Don’t despise the small things
For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth.” Zechariah 4:10
This week I came across this verse in Zechariah that encouraged me during a time of great discouragement. Here, Zechariah received a vision from God regarding the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. This was set during the time after the Israelites returned from exile in Babylon. These exiles returned to a city that was still mostly in ruins and the very centre of their faith; the temple was in pieces. “How can we ever rebuild this?” “How can we believe that God will be faithful to His promises?” “The task is too great!” “What if we fail?” I’m sure these were the kinds of complaints heard all over Jerusalem at that time. Even after the foundations for the temple were laid, there were still people who were sceptical. “This is just a drop in a bucket!” “There is still a mountain of work to do!” “This just isn’t worth it!”
Ever feel like this? Ever started something only to wonder; how on earth will I do this? Ever feel like your ministry, church plant, job is just a drop in the bucket? Ever feel like it just isn’t worth the trouble? Well, I know how you feel!
Lately I have struggled to find joy in the small things. I often feel like what I am doing in Japan is so small and insignificant. I only preach once a month and it takes me so long to prepare! I am only doing Bible study with one non-Christian. Having conversations is scary and I still make so many mistakes! Some days on my calendar are completely open and I honestly don’t know what to do! Would I not accomplish more if I just went back home? The COVID-19 situation has made it especially difficult for many missionaries who are no longer able to do the ministry they came to do. Perhaps a missionary friend is reading this right now and you are also thinking…am I doing something worthwhile?
Let us find encouragement in the fact that God often does great things by using what we call small things. Do no despise the small things! If the small foundation was never laid, the temple would not have been rebuilt. If the small lunch was never given, the young man would not have seen 5000 people fed with his meagre contribution. (John 6:9) If the 2 coins were never donated, the disciples and us would not of had an example of true giving. (Mark 12:41-44)
Also consider: But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 1 Cor 1:27
Do not think of your gifts to the Lord as small things. Think of what great things they become when entrusted to an all-powerful God. Also remember that God does not ignore the small things. He sees that small lunch, he sees that small foundation, he sees those two coins. He hears those fumbling prayers. He smiles at that that one Bible conversation you had. He rejoices in that encouraging message you sent. He is the God who sees and rejoices in the small things. Therefore, tomorrow when you wake up, wherever you are; in faith remind yourself – What I am doing for God today is important! Even though you might not see the results today, in the end it will be beautiful!
I understand how you feel Aj. It’s not only in the mission field that one feels like one isn’t accomplishing much. In this new phase of our world we are all limited in the people we see and the conversations we have. It is so frustrating. But those one on one WhatsApp messages or bible studies we have can be hugely useful in encouraging and growing those we already know. They can grow faster because they have individual attention and then they will be ready to make disciples. And so the important work you do on the few you may have contact with will be multiplied as they go out.
When I first planted different shrubs here at Gonubie Green, the buck came by and cropped the top continuously. I despaired at the futility of the task. But after a season or two I saw how effective this had bn on the plant to establish it’s roots and it grew back better in time. Don’t despair about what you cannot see. God is working despite what we think we see. To Him be the glory for ever and ever.
Sending you both our love and a big HUG.