One of the things that I’ve come to appreciate in my life is the thought of small beginnings. In Zechariah 4:10, we find the scripture that says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”. So often, we can become crippled in our process to begin a task because we think that the things we do for God or even for ourselves, it either has to be big or it has to be perfect. The funny thing about that is that there is no place where I find God requiring us to be either one of those things.
If you look throughout the entire bible, the people that God chose were all flawed, all greatly imperfect, and everyone in one way or another had a shortcoming of some sort. Yet, everywhere you turn, people are refusing to start a project, start business, start a church, or even start an activity to change something about themselves.
Looking back at the life of a man named Abram, I find a man here who left all he knew to take up the task of becoming the father of a nation, yet he was an old man with an old wife. Surely this seemed totally out of the realm of comprehending for him. It most certainly was so for his wife, for why else would she have laughed at the mention of it? Imagine what it would have been like for us had this nation of our waited to have a military large enough to face Britain when it was seeking to become its own people. What might it be like if seeds said, “I’m not going to go into the ground because I’m too small to be anything.”?
Let’s not forget those who choose to try to force things to grow. They do things in such a way as to rule out any sense of integrity or restraint in the process of accomplishment. This removes the need for God to have a place in the plan or act of developing what in many cases is His desire as much as it is of the one who seeks to achieve the desired result.
It is so amazing as I think back to my childhood in the church I grew up in. As children we would sing a song called Ordinary Children. It speaks of how, “little becomes much when you place it in the Master‘s hand.” It’s a reminder of the story a young boy who’s little two fish and five loaves of bread became the seed that would feed a multitude of people. Jesus didn’t struggle over the fact that they did not have the finances to cover the feeding of the people that had followed him. He simply said a prayer, and started with what was in their borrowed possession. It not only met the present need of the people, it produced an overflow that was then returned to the young boy who had sacrificed what was his.
This is why it is so remarkable that earlier in Zechariah 4, we see the angel of the Lord tell him, “not by your power or might, but by God’s Spirit.” God is able to amazing things when we are willing to begin somewhere, and with something. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t even have to be forced. It just has to be submitted to God. Start where you are and with what you have.
There’s a saying that, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” For Nelson Mandela, his journey to the Presidency of South Africa began with a 26 year imprisonment. God can take your little or not enough and work miracles with it. Choose not to wait for big or flashy. Don’t do nothing because you think it would be pointless to even try. With only a measure of faith, mountains can be moved. Dare to start somewhere. Dare to let God grow it.
QUESTION: What have you delayed or counted out because you didn’t think it would measure up?
- Hope Against Hope (radiatedevotions.wordpress.com)
- Trusting God (xntricproductions.wordpress.com)
- Confident Hope (radiatedevotions.wordpress.com)
- Goodbye Madiba. (allaboutwork.org)
- Nelson Mandela death: Zuma’s speech in full (wyff4.com)
- Jacob Zuma addresses South Africa on Nelson Mandela’s death – full text (theguardian.com)
- The Poem that got Nelson Mandela through 27 years in Prison (and 12 Wisdom Quotes from Madiba himself). (elephantjournal.com)
- Farewell to Madiba (ireport.cnn.com)
- South African President Zuma on Nelson Mandela: ‘Our people have lost a father’ (worldnews.nbcnews.com)