“For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice.” (Zechariah 4:10)
Our expectations soar when grand developments, great accomplishments, and large gatherings are the norm. God’s accounting is different from ours.
The Lord chose the runt of Jesse’s boys to be the high King of Israel, though his own father hadn’t even considered it worthwhile to include him in a crucial family gathering. God called one righteous man to build that famous ark and one infertile, old couple to launch the entire nation of Israel. Large crowds flocked to Christ for three years, but Jesus only made eleven ordinary, not-so-brave men oversee the transformation of the known world.
God hasn’t changed. “He is Lord of the little things,” as my friend Clay Hecocks taught us earlier.
One seed of truth sowed in a father’s heart still has the dynamic power to change the entire trajectory of a family’s life. One life squarely planted in the soil of God’s Word, drawing nourishment in seasons of plenty and want, can usher in monumental change in the stories of untold numbers. One chance meeting, one conversation on a plane, one hand-scrawled note of encouragement – and an entire new chapter can be written in a life reborn.
The little boy’s lunch wasn’t much to speak of, but in Christ’s hands five thousand were fed. The widow’s pennies were insignificant to everyone but Christ, yet he used her kindling of sacrifice to light forest fires of raging generosity for over two thousand years.
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28).
In God’s economy the humble are elevated, the meek have the greater inheritance, the merciful are the very ones obtaining mercy in return. Those striving for peace win the greatest spoils, and those pursuing righteousness against all odds are the ones given the greatest reward.
God’s ways, his thoughts, and what he values do not line up with our grandiose plans. In the grand scheme of life, he is the one determining the outcome. We can trust him that our faithfulness in little things will bring about his great good, most especially when the numbers simply do not add up.
Elizabeth A Mitchell