ZECHARIAH 4:9-10: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 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.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: Am I rejoicing over the “small things” in my life? Do I find myself wanting to go from 0 to 60 without any beginning steps? In this day of “instant” everything, am I willing to put in the hard work that is needed, and rejoice in the process along the way?
I find so many times that I miss the wonderful blessings that are taking place in my life when I am focused on the “big goal” that I have not yet achieved. Not to be trite, but the old adage to stop and smell the roses is really true. The hand of God is present in every step of our life, and we are called to rejoice and celebrate His Grace each and every step of the way.
As a heart patient with an artificial heart valve, I have to take coumadin to keep my blood thin so that the artificial valve does not create blood clots. This keeps me guarded from strokes, but it also brings many unwanted complications. Simple surgeries become protracted ordeals. A few years back I went in for an outpatient knee scope for a torn meniscus. This is normally a day procedure, and a quick recovery. I was in the hospital 7 days, recovering in a chair for 6 weeks, and doing physical therapy for 3 months. An elderly lady across the street had a full knee replacement at the same time as my knee scope. She was running laps around me in a matter of a few weeks. I did not feel like rejoicing!
As I “lived” in my recliner, I found myself growing increasingly discouraged. Then I remembered this verse. In the NLT it reads – “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…” I began to do exactly that. I began to rejoice over every small thing that I was able to do each day, and that I was not able to do the day before. And they were “small things”. There is not much you can do when “chair bound”. I could not even focus on reading due to the medication. Yet, when I could read for 5-10 minutes, when I could not do that before – I would rejoice! I knew the Lord was pouring out His Grace upon me, and that His healing touch would sustain and restore me. So inch by inch – I began to rejoice!
The first Sunday I was able to get back to church I had to preach in a recliner. This was humbling, but it was another “small beginning” with which I rejoiced. In fact, the message I brought to the church that Sunday was – “Do not despise the day of small beginnings”! This was a difficult lesson to learn, but it has transformed my life. It is the difference between seeing the Grace of God in every step, and being always discontent with where I am, and what I am experiencing. God was promising Zechariah that he would see the Temple rebuilt and restored. God is promising us that we will see our lives rebuilt and restored if we learn to rejoice in the small things!
- “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 ESV)
Lord, this morning help me to rejoice in the “small things”! Your Grace is extended to me today and You are accomplishing Your will in my life, step by step, from glory to glory. Forgive me for the times I grow impatient and look only at what has not come to pass, rather than what You are working in that very moment. May I enter into Your Joy and Your Peace as I walk in faith and hope – rejoicing each step of the way!
In Jesus Name!