Choose Not to Despise the Small Things
One More Year of Choices
By Barbara Dahlgren
When governor Zerubbabel was faced with the task of rebuilding Jerusalem and the temple, he faced many obstacles. Fifty years had passed since the Babylonian invasion left Jerusalem desolate and Solomon’s Temple (also known as the First Temple) burned to the ground. It became obvious this second temple would never have the grandeur of the first. Even after the foundation was laid, some old timers wept thinking of the comparison. (Ezra 3:12)
Yet amidst this small beginning God told the people not to be discouraged for the second temple would be completed through Zerubbabel. He also asked a rhetorical question that contains a life lesson for all of us: “For who hath despised the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10 KJV) The people could only see what was in front of them, not what God would do with it. How many of us are guilty of the same reasoning?
In a world that measures significance by size, we can think small things have little value. Yet little things mean a lot to God. Things like…
- Giving a cold drink of water to little ones (Matthew 10:42)
- Feeding the hungry (Matthew 25:43-45)
- Visiting those in prison (Matthew 25:43-45)
- Visiting the fatherless and the widows (James 1:27)
- A widow’s mite (Mark 12:41-44)
- Sharing what little you have (John 6:9-13)
- Little children (Matthew 18:1-5)
- Little flocks (Luke 12:32)
The parables are full of analogies made with small things: one talent, sowing seeds, a lost coin, one lost sheep, a grain of mustard seed, and a little leaven. The list could go on and on.
What about people? Sarah, a barren woman, gave birth to God’s chosen people. David, a mere shepherd boy, used a slingshot to kill Goliath. That same shepherd boy became king. A small boy helped feed a multitude with three fishes and five loaves of bread. Moses, a baby saved in the bulrushes, grew up to deliver Israel from bondage. Esther, a lowly young woman, became a queen and put her life on the line to save the Jews from a deadly plot. Jesus was born in a stable in some obscure town, yet offers salvation to the world.
In fact, Jesus’ life was spent doing small things for others. We could call them acts of kindness. He comforted the sick. He befriended the sinner. He hung out with the fishermen. He paid attention to little children. He washed the disciples’ feet. He told us if we wanted to be great we should do the same thing – learn to serve others. (Mark 10:42-45)
Consider this… God does not despise the small things. He does not measure significance by size. There can be power in small things. A little match can cause a big fire. A tiny acorn can produce a giant oak tree. Little drops of water can fill an ocean. Tiny grains of sand can make a beach.
Little things mean a lot to God. Always remember that God can take any little thing we do and multiply it for His glory.
Suggestions for practicing this choice…
- Think of some little things you might do to brighten someone’s day: smile, be polite, let someone go ahead of you in line, write a note of appreciation, etc.
- Small acts of faith, kindness, generosity, and service may seem to go unnoticed, but they do not. They don’t go unnoticed by others, and they don’t go unnoticed by God.
- Pray about the little things in your life as well as the big ones. God is interested in everything about our daily routine.
- Think about this: Adam was created as a full grown man and Jesus could have come to earth that way as well, but He chose to come as a little child. Little things mean a lot.
- Next time you hear Satan whisper in your ear, “You are worthless, puny, and unimportant. What you do doesn’t matter. Why continue on? What’s the use?” God does not want us to believe these lies. Choose to listen for God’s voice. He’ll be saying, “Take heart, my child. Do not believe these lies or become weary. Believe me. Trust me. You are very valuable to me. Every little thing you do matters to me. I love you and will never leave or forsake you.”