Small Beginnings.pngWhen SHINElife began as a hobby operating (mostly during nap and bed times) from our playroom floor, we didn't start with the vision we have now. We never dreamed God would take us to where we are, touching lives and hearts every day. We took one step. Then another. Then another, in faith. But where we started? It was oh-so-small. Small beginnings seem so... well? Small. Insignificant. It's easy to see someone else's middle, compare it to where you are and think you'll never get there. Maybe you have a dream that seems so far-fetched that it could never happen. Maybe you have a song in your heart that doesn't ever feel like it could be sung. Or maybe the work you do as a stay at home mom, caregiver, or single parent doesn't feel all that important to begin with. Oh, but it is. It's easy to look at your small beginning and become discouraged. But remember, there is no small effort to God. Listen to these words from Zechariah 4:10,
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin."
Here's a little background for you. Before 530 B.C., the Israelites had been exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon, and their temple had been destroyed. Over the years following, the people had been set free from exile to return to Jerusalem and begin rebuilding the temple. Depending on who was in political power at the time, they would work on the temple. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. Over twenty years. Can you imagine how discouraging this must have been to have only completed the temple's foundation in twenty years? It would be easy to lose focus, lose heart, and forget their purpose when it had been so long since they'd started. It would be so easy to walk away, assuming that because it hadn't happened yet, it shouldn't, won't, or can't. But that's not always true! Small doesn't mean insignificant, and "not yet" doesn't mean "not ever." Under Zecheriah's encouragement, the people began rebuilding the rest of the temple but in doing so, he insisted that they remain pure in their faith. He couldn't let them halfheartedly do the work. They had to be focused on both the task and the purpose for the task. Remembering the purpose for the task would help sustain them to complete the task when they got tired and wanted to quit. In Zechariah 4:10, the Angel of the Lord. Who wouldn't, after all that time? He reminds Zechariah that no beginning is too small for God, because God rejoices to see the work begin! A step taken in faith - no matter how small - is one step closer to completing your goal! So what about you? What step are you thinking about taking? Remember, there are no small beginnings! What fence are you sitting on? Climb down and take that first bold step onto a new path! What project - maybe even that 20-year project you think you're too old to start now - has been weighing on your aching heart? Now could be the perfect time for YOUR small beginning! Can I share with you another verse? Zechariah 6:15. The angel of the Lord is still talking to Zecheriah and he says,
"People will come from distant lands to help rebuild the temple. When this happens, you will know that my messages have been from the Lord. All this will happen if you carefully obey what the Lord says."
The Message Bible says, "People will come from faraway places to pitch in." In other words? Don't worry about how you'll get done. If this thing is a God-thing that you feel in your heart He's asking you to do, don't worry about how to handle the middle or end, or 7/8 of the way through. Just start, and God will provide what you need when you need it. This thing that you're tasked with? It's a thing that only you can do! It's the way you will and DO shine! Be proud of your small beginning. Because the same thing that seems small to you makes your heavenly father prouder than you can ever imagine. You are loved by an almighty God, Karen SHINEblog Editor Karen is a mama, writer, editor, engineer, and chocoholic who loves anything sparkly. When she's not editing SHINE posts, you can find her on her blog, Perhaps This.