“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”
Yeah. I know.
It’s a mess.
In fact, the term disaster would be a little closer to the mark.
It’s a bit overwhelming, really. There’s a huge hole where grass used to be, it’s unholy hot to be working outside, and I’m on a tight deadline because I have guests coming.
I only have myself to blame for it, too.
See, I have a vision.
A dream of sorts.
(Stay with me.)
In my mind’s eye, I see an elegant garden arch. Shrubs. Vines twining, flowers sweet in the sun. An iron art feature in a mini courtyard. A curving path leading further into the gardens. Landscaped perennial beds spilling over with texture and colour and magnificence.
You don’t see it?
No. Perhaps not.
It’s hard to see because – it isn’t there yet.
Perhaps you haven’t caught the same vision I have. Perhaps you are so dismayed by the ‘ripped-up-lumpy-hard-packed-work-in-progress-under-construction-who-tossed-that-hand-grenade-in-here-hole’, you aren’t able to move past it.
I’m good with it.
It is, after all, a beginning.
It’s a very small beginning on a big dream – but I’m learning something as I create chaos in my yard and work to see the vision come to life.
Small beginnings count.
One baby step. One choice. One ‘no’. One ‘yes’. One open hand instead of a fist – it all counts, because every finished project had to start somewhere.
In this story recorded by Zechariah, the job was big. The dream was bigger – to rebuild Solomon’s magnificent temple after years of exile. It was an overwhelming task for the ragtag band of folks who were short on labour, short on resources, and risking their lives igniting a religious and political firestorm.
Open your heart to what God has to say to them after their work in laying the foundation. Not after erecting the walls. Not after setting in the windows or finishing the roof or laying a lovely mosaic floor.
After surveying the site (a large ripped up hole, if you will) with a plumb line to get the foundation level.
‘Do not despise these small beginnings…’
Are you kicking a bad habit? Jump-starting a lukewarm marriage? Raising kids? Digging deeper into the roots of a troublesome past? Establishing a new career?
Or just getting a start on that overwhelming, never ending to-do list?
Do not despise small beginnings.
Every dream starts with one decision. One desire for more. One moment of repentance. One realignment of a selfish heart.
One baby step of faith that will provide a level space for a foundation of glory.
As in days of old, I believe God rejoices to see the work begin. And He is absolutely committed to walking with you, guiding the process, digging deeper to establish you in the foundation of His truth, His love, His grace.
He has a vision. He sees the finished product. He isn’t afraid of the mess of change; He isn’t shocked or turned off by how much work needs doing.
Yes, the job is big.
But God is bigger yet.
It feels overwhelming.
It’s uncomfortable. It’s sometimes ugly. It will involve hard work and discipline and sweat equity. There will be days when you lose sight of the then in the struggles of the now.
But oh, have you caught the vision?
The beauty of the end product?
I’m praying that you will, friend.
The dream is not a ‘better version’ of you.
The dream is God working in and through you to build something far greater than you, of such deep eternal significance that it will far outlive you.
Can you see it yet?
Don’t despise small beginnings.
Commit to the work of God in your life with me?
Father, I give You permission to start something in my life that will produce beauty and harmony and be a blessing to others. Show me where to begin so I can participate in the renovations. Bless me as I make small choices that will add up to great progress! Amen.