Savor the Small Stuff too?

Foundation for a new house

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Recent sports headlines:

“Blackhawk rookies have much to savor in victory over Sabres.”

“Patriots savor victory a little longer.”  (Obviously before the Super Bowl!)

“Nets can savor this victory over Pistons.”

The other day I walked out the back door, didn’t foresee any great victories ahead like those in the headlines, but savored the day ahead anyway. Taking a phrase from Zechariah 4:10, I looked forward to a “day of small things.”

Then he (an angel) said to me (Zechariah), “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!'”  Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.” Zechariah 4:6-10

This passage refers to the time after the Israelites returned to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon. The foundation of the second Temple had been laid, but rather than rejoicing, many of the people were discouraged because it was smaller than Solomon’s Temple (which was destroyed during the exile). Those discouraged ones were despising the day of small things.

However, God, in effect, said, “This is just the beginning. Stand back and watch!”- telling them the Temple would be completed and would be the House of God. The Lord had appointed Zerubbabel to lead the construction, and, with the Lord’s strength and help, he laid the foundation. Moreover, the victory would come and there would be rejoicing when Zerubbabel lined it up and set the top stone in place.

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            The victories in the sports headlines came from many days of small things: Days of practice, running, weightlifting, and sitting there studying their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.

Our lives are also filled with days of small things. But, the exciting part can be that we don’t know which of those are the beginnings of victories. We buy seeds and plant a garden. We hold a musical instrument, hammer, or crochet hook for the first time. We meet a new friend. As a writer, we read a Scripture verse, hear a phrase or see something that gives us an idea. With God’s strength and help, these all may lead to victories.

As with Zerubbabel and the rebuilding of the Temple, God often uses small things as the beginnings of His victories: The strings and stakes are laid out for the foundation of a new church. A thought burdens your heart that you should help with a particular ministry, or assist a family in need. An unbelieving friend or relative asks you a sincere question about Jesus. (Think of your own examples to add to this list.)

We can, and should, savor the victories God gives us (and remember all victories are from Him). Nevertheless, a day of small things should be savored too (and not despised); we need to stand back and watch, because we don’t know what great works God has begun that day.

And he (Jesus) said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” Mark 4:30-32 ESV

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This post is part of the Christian Writers blog chain. Our theme for this month is “Savor”. Please see the list to the right and visit my friends’ blogs to see what they have to say about this topic.