Learning to rejoice in Small Beginnings

nativity scene

“Don’t despise the small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”  Zechariah 4:10

I stumbled upon this verse as I was reading the Bible during my time with God the other morning. I am slightly embarrassed to say that I’d never seen this before, but I was so warmed and encouraged by these compassionate words from God to His people.

I don’t know about you, but I find it very easy to get frustrated with where I am at. I can often feel like a failure, as though I should be further ahead in my efforts to bring glory to God. I get frustrated that I am not preaching week-in-week-out; I get frustrated that I am not writing blog posts on a more regular basis; most of all I get frustrated that I am still at school studying, rather than working in a church and impacting lives for Jesus.

But then I read these words of encouragement from God to His people; His words to me…

It makes me think about that first day that I walked into seminary to begin my theological study, and I realised that in that moment God rejoiced that the work had begun. I was taking the first, small step of being trained and tutored for the purpose of becoming a pastor.

It makes me think of the first time I got up to preach before my church community and how energised it made me feel. Yet another small beginning which God celebrated. I was totally untrained and green, but that was ok because God’s work of shaping me and refining my speaking ability had begun.

God declares here in Zechariah 4:10 that He rejoices in the small, slow beginnings. And we must remember that these small beginnings always lead to greater, faster momentum down the track.

As I reflect on this truth I recognise that small beginnings are in fact good. It is much, much better to start small and slow, than to go big and quick, only to then fizzle out because the Lord was not in the work.

Then I think of Jesus who came as a tiny baby. Before that, just an embryo in His mother’s womb. Small beginnings. It took thirty years before Jesus stepped into ministry. It was the small beginnings that trained him, and prepared him, and perfected him for the purpose of changing the world.

So next time I get frustrated with where I am at, wishing I was further along in life and making a bigger impact on the world around me I am going to pause to remember that God does not despise the small beginnings, but rejoices to see the work begin.

R, xo

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