“Do not despise small beginnings. For the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”
Zachariah 4:10 NLT
Jesus . . .
Redeemer . . .
The First . . .
The Last . . .
What a wonderful example of the world’s first “ark” in human form. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior began with little more than pipsqueak beginnings!
Coming to us no bigger than a minute His face gave no hint to His majesty. No different in appearance than any other human baby, He had ten fingers, ten toes and a belly button just like yours and mine.
In the beginning, many had trouble comprehending how this tiny little somebody could indeed be the Messiah.
A manger was no birthplace for a Messiah. Was it? The question left many scratching their heads. I mean, what king in all of history had come to us this way? Wouldn’t someone of royal blood require a much more regal welcoming?
Jesus had arrived with no golden throne, no velvet robe or jeweled crown to grace His fuzzy head. His majesty was so unlike anything the world had ever seen that He didn’t require any of those things. So instead He came to us draped in grace, mercy and loving-kindness because Jesus needed nothing more. What the world deemed regal didn’t matter. He was not of this world.
Neither are you, you know.
In John 17:13-15 Jesus speaks directly to this very subject . . .
“And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
Listen to that closely. Not only are you not of this world but Christ Jesus has given you HIS joy! That’s very powerful. Read it once more. You are not of this world. Your beginnings aren’t going to astonish folks . . . but where you go with those beginnings are going to knock their socks off!
Do you know why God loves humble beginnings? Because they surprise the living beans out of people! What fun is it to read about the rich getting richer? I don’t know about you but I want to read about the person who never had a dime, gave his nickel to charity and defied every odd imaginable to become CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation! Extra points if he succeed making something like mouse perfume! (That’s a story only God could make!)
Now this by no means implies that God doesn’t want to increase prosperity to those who already have it. He wants to reward all of His children and send every aspect of their lives to overflowing! But His true delight is in the struggling, the sick, the broken, those with tiny-teeny microscopic hope!
That’s what the beauty of His birth brought to us. BIG hope in tiny-teeny microscopic beginnings. He was the very reason we with little to hope for could find the promise of a hope that runneth over at the brim! The very world that struggled to accept the divinity of Jesus would someday struggle no more. Their sins though many would be washed white as snow by the blood of the most unlikely king of all!
You have to realize that God is a creator at heart. He doesn’t run an assembly line in Heaven’s Industrial Park. That’s why no two fingerprints are alike. He made everything with His own two hands. You are not a byproduct of overstocked inventory. You came from dust of all places! But from that dust came a purpose so carefully formatted with great loving care.
Now after the dust we don’t know exactly what God does with it to weave our innermost parts. That’s just a small portion of His mysterious ways. But He does however assure us of this . . .
You are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
I don’t know about you but that just makes me want to run up the stairway to Heaven and beg to see the details! How in the world does one go from dust to a magnificent living, breathing, soul-filled creature? God tells us with the word “fearfully” that you have been created so magnificently that it’s almost a little scary. That alone should just fill you with a joy no man can shake off you! You are such a divine creation that if you were to be allowed to witness the way you were formed you would be deemed speechless!
Now I liken God to having the mind of an artist and the heart of a poet. He likes to make things from scratch. When He finds something broken He gets even more excited because that means He gets to re-do it and make something even better!
When He’s finished He approves what He has made. He sees that it’s completely wonderful and He begins to write its story. Foreseeing every little page where the Devil tries to stink things up He throws in a grace-filled page turner that always ends in favor. Here He fills in the question marks before we ask them with beautiful stories of forgiveness, mercy and gratifying grace.
And when He’s finished? Those humble beginnings are a masterpiece inside the Master’s hand. The Devil walks away totally disappointed, his tail between his legs, utterly bummed to the max that God did that Genesis 50:20 thing again!
(“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives . . .”)
If our Heavenly Father, who is all knowing, Omni-present and able to do with any solitary thing as He pleases finds a reasoning behind small beginnings then there is not any reason why you should look back at the beginnings of your ark and say “This stinks!”
God doesn’t want you to look at so-in-so’s ark and wail “Oh, drat! Now I have to start ALL over! Howard has more faith than me! Ugh!” He doesn’t want you to get flustered and start over again. Whether you’ve started driving nails into two-by-fours or you are still looking at a heap of gopher wood . . . you are right where God needs you to be right this very moment!
This is why we need the promise of small beginnings tattooed on our hearts. We need to put that slab of promise way down deep. It is a base you can build your whole great big ark on! It might sound other-worldly and that’s because it is. Like Jesus in the manger . . . it’s out of this world!
The Father doesn’t want you to get upset and all bummed out because your ark is coming along slower, smaller and a bit wimpier looking than the other boats out there. He simply wants you to start small and find joy in your own humble beginnings . . .