Zechariah 4:10 “Who dares despise the day of small things….”
From the trenches of war, upon receiving a supply of smokeables, CS Lewis wrote: “such little attentions are infinitely cheering when one is dull, lonely and disappointed.” In an environment with few pleasures Lewis appreciated the smallest act of kindness. Little things can sometimes move mountains of dullness, loneliness and disappointment can’t they?
They also empower us to accomplish more than we think possible. As governor of Jerusalem, Zerubbabel was given the daunting task of rebuilding the once resplendent Temple. Nothing was going right. He faced growing opposition from Israel’s enemies, lethargy from his people, and a truckload of physical inconveniences. But before giving up completely, God sent Zechariah with the encouraging words for him not to despise the small beginnings of the project. Yes, the task was great, but God’s own Spirit would help him complete the job. Zerubbabel learned to let the small beginnings be a source of encouragement, not discouragement.
Sounds a bit like the mustard seed–sized faith Jesus told his disciples to have if they wanted to move mountains. (Matthew 17:20). Tiny becomes titanic when offered to God.
As powerful as little things can be, it’s amazing how we tend to take them for granted. We sometimes forget them as soon as they happen.
I was recently reading one of my journal entries where I’d recorded my thankfulness for an unexpected conversation with my son, of kind words spoken by a former student, of the opportunity that night to take a friend out for dinner. The recollection of those small occurrences not only put a smile on my face, they reminded me in a tangible-type way of God’s practical goodness.
I f we hope to overcome the inevitable challenges that come our way, we must start with an appreciation of the little things in life. If I don’t take the time to be grateful for the taste of cream in my coffee…the beauty of my little grandson’s smile…the warmth of my fireplace on a cold evening…I forfeit the foundation needed to experience life as God intended.
So whatever you might be facing right now, can I echo the words of Zechariah? Don’t despise the little things in your life. Recall them. Renew your gratitude for them. Then go and live a big life!