The Day of Small Things
There is a classic nursery rhyme about the days of the week which you probably sang in your childhood. It goes like this:
Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go.
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is fair and wise and good in every way.
During my teenage years and a lot of times in the present, I had and have felt like Thursday’s child. I look at my long to-do list and realize that I still have so much to accomplish. I look in the mirror and see that I am perfectly imperfect. I need to be more patient, more caring, more thoughtful. I need to be more joyful. From time to time I would wonder, “Why don’t I ever accomplish something good?” I would tell God stories of how I feel insignificant, boring or useless while some of my friends seem to be living with a rainbow and lots of sunshine sprinkles over their heads.
I was humbled, so humbled, when God relayed to me Zerubbabel’s story. (It’s in Zechariah 4 and Ezra 4).
Zerubbabel, the governor of Jerusalem, had already laid the foundations of God’s temple when opposition suddenly set in. He was mocked without restraint and finally, those who supported him got discouraged. The construction site stood silent for a long time. Zerubbabel must have felt like a failure. He must have went home and said, “Ah, to hell with it. I need some rest.” What little confidence he had had floated up and away.
When God hands something for us to work on, we enthusiastically respond by embracing it and walking the first steps to complete it.
Maybe it’s a person you’ve been waiting to know Christ, a job you finally landed, a ministry project you’re really excited about. Sometimes the situation flows smoothly – your friend accepts Christ without hesitation, the job turns out to be something you enjoy very well, the ministry project a full-blown success. Other times, it doesn’t work out the way you expect it to – your friend stops seeing you, your job is a big ache in the head and the ministry project gets postponed.
That’s when God enters the scene and tries to wake us up from our slumber. He reminds us through Zechariah that:
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.” Zerubbabel must have felt astonished when Zechariah came barging through his door with the message. “What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’ The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple, his hands will also complete it.” (Zechariah 4:6-7)
“Do not despise the day of small things. Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel!” (v. 10)
The passage says do NOT despise the day of small things. The day when you feel like there isn’t much going on with your life. The day when you think that you ought to be doing something great but aren’t. The day when your temple is awaiting completion but you know it’s not going to happen anytime soon.
God loves the day of small things. It shows us what God can accomplish with the little that we have. It gives emphasis on His glory – the glory that awaits us as we wait for the temple to be constructed, even if it takes long. In our weakness, we find His strength.
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6
We are not children of any day of the week. We are children of the living God who has a way of making something big out of the seemingly small. Remember Moses’ rod which parted the Red Sea? The mustard seed which grew to become a shelter for birds? Ah, yes, and the five loaves and two fish which fed five thousand.