“Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel… (Zechariah 4:10, NIV)
Those words were spoken by the prophet/priest Zechariah somewhere around 538 B.C. Nehemiah had returned to Jerusalem and led the people to rebuild the burned down walls. The remaining Israelites who had been held in Babylonian captivity had started to return under the governor Zerubbabel.
But there was a major task ahead. The temple had to be rebuilt. It was perhaps the most important final step for the restoration of normality for the Jews…they were home again…and they could worship again in freedom. But they needed a house of worship.
My guess is it is no small undertaking to build a temple. The size of the task is daunting. And so, this word of encouragement is given. Construction starts with on stone laid on a foundation: the cornerstone. It is a small thing…a small beginning. But the task will be completed, if those laboring don’t give up. If they can see beyond that one stone and envision a completed temple.
We’ve been inundated with prayer requests here at New Life. Over the last two Sundays we’ve encouraged you to “pray big” and to trust God for big things this coming year. As you head into the new year, let me give you the same word of encouragement. Don’t despise small beginnings. You may have dreams and goals for the new year that seem way out of reach. But if you don’t take that first, small step, you’ll never reach the destination. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
So don’t despise that small step. Take it. Change your perspective. Emerson once said: “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” A small step…sowing a thought. But there are destiny-changing rewards to that first small step.
The Apostle Paul said it this way: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8, NIV).”
In less than a month, we will bravely venture into 2013: don’t despise small beginnings! Change your mind about them. Embark confidently, letting the Lord lead you where he wants you to be.