Despise not small beginnings

This post is about rebuilding. It’s mostly for me. I use the Bible a lot in my self-talk.

Zechariah was a prophet in Old Testament times. He lived and spoke roughly 2500 years ago when the Jews had returned to their homeland after living in Babylon for many decades. They were now trying to rebuild their life as a people. The center of life for them was the temple of God, and their leaders had started to rebuild it. However, the rebuilding process was not exactly clipping along. They had been hindered greatly by those residents of their homeland who had become the de facto owners of it during the Jews’ absence.

At one point the people were quite discouraged about their lack of progress in rebuilding the temple, which symbolized the heart of life to them. It was then that God spoke to Zechariah in a dream. Here’s how he described it (emphasis mine):

Then the angel who was talking with me returned. He woke me up. It was as if I had been asleep. “What do you see?” he asked me.

“I see a solid gold lampstand,” I answered. “It has a bowl on top of it. There are seven lamps on it. Seven tubes lead to each of them. There are two olive trees by the lampstand. One is on its right side. The other is on its left.”

I asked the angel who was talking with me, “Sir, what are these?” He answered, “Don’t you know what they are?”

“No, sir,” I replied.

So he said to me, “A message came to Zerubbabel from the Lord. He said, ‘Your strength will not get my temple rebuilt. Your power will not do it either. Only the power of my Spirit will do it,’ says the Lord who rules over all. So nothing can stop Zerubbabel from completing the temple. Even a mountain of problems will be smoothed out by him. When the temple is finished, he will put its most important stone in place. Then the people will shout, ‘God bless it! God bless it!’ ”

A message came to me from the Lord. His angel said, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple. His hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord who rules over all has sent me to you. Do not look down on the small amount of work done on the temple so far. People will be filled with joy when they see Zerubbabel holding the most important stone.

Zechariah 4:1-10

Rebuilding one’s life after the storm has destroyed everything can seem like an exercise in futility. Our steps are often so small, and the task is so enormous. It’s easy to become depressed and discouraged.

I hear this message telling me to look beyond the beginnings and see the outcomes ahead – that’s where the beginning steps will lead. Be patient and pace your expectations; it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Stick with God, because He is the one who will ultimately get you there.

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