Friday, September 28, 2007

Loving the Small Things

I was given some encouragement the other day regarding Pikes Peak Bible Institute from an unlikely source. I was actually on a phone interview for a ministry position to which I had applied. I wanted to accurately reflect the status of PPBI and let the interviewers know that PPBI was still small as we struggled to make it a more stable ministry. One of the interviewers quoted Zechariah:

For who has despised the day of small things? Zech. 4:10b

In this passage, the Jewish people have returned to Jerusalem are rebuilding the temple. Their enemies had already taunted them for rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem (Neh. 4:2-4). Then, their enemies took action to stop the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 4). The enemies were successful for a time (Ezra 4:24) but then Haggai and Zechariah lit a fire under the nation's collective hind end and they finished the reconstruction (Ezra 5:1-2, Haggai, Zechariah).

The point is, this verse in Zechariah 4 shows that in the inception of any work, it is small. And people should not "despise" that smallness. In fact, even though this new temple was nothing compared to the previous temple (Ezra 3:12, Hag. 2:3), it is in this temple the Lord promised to show a great glory (Hag. 2:9). In fact, it is in this temple where God-in-the-flesh walked in the person of Jesus Christ. Thus, it is this lowly, small, plain temple where the most majestic display of God's love and glory would be put on display. Therefore, the prophet Zechariah concludes, one should not despise the day of small things.

This thought gave me encouragement. Yes, PPBI is small when looking at it from the human point of view. It is the beginning of a ministry. However, I truly believe that God has great things in store for this ministry. I can only see the beginning and like the people who saw the previous temple and were a bit discouraged, I look at other ministries and think, "Shouldn't PPBI look like that?" However, also like the people who did not realize that something better than they could ever conceive was coming, I must remember that I am at the beginning and God is already at the end.

Today if you are discouraged because you are at the beginning of the Lord's work for you, remember Zechariah 4:10. Do not despise the day of small things. Learn to love the small things. God knows end from the beginning and has great things planned for you and your ministry. Be encouraged that you are able to participate in the building of the small thing that God will use to build His Kingdom for His glory.