2007-02-23 - Small Beginnings
Zechariah 4:10, "For who has despised the day of small things?"
The beginnings of godliness are often small. Beginnings, however, do not always mark the endings. It is also true that evil things often seem to begin very well, but just as often end poorly. Evil things promise greatness quickly, but look at their end. What did Satan promise in the garden? He told them they would be like God, knowing good and evil. How wonderful a beginning that was, but how sad the ending when Adam and Eve are found hiding from God, naked, and ashamed. The shimmering promises of evil are often found out to be the dross of unpolished brass. The journey of evil is full of thorns - and ends up in despair and sadness. Evil makes great boasts and promises at first, and then shows its true colors.
The beginnings of truth are often very small. The increase is often slow and difficult, but the end is glorious; the small seed that becomes an oak tree, the little river that becomes the Nile, the faith of a child that grasps hold of eternal life - all have small beginnings, but their end is glorious. Good things progress.
It is common for us to think that we have not grown in grace enough to make an impact on those around us. It is common to look around us, see the gifts and abilities in others, and feel that we could never attain to that. Our beginning may seem so small that we may even wonder if we have had a beginning to start with. Grace does not work in the same manner as gifts. We cannot confuse the two. There are others who are more gifted than we are. We would show ignorance to not admit that, but this does not mean that we have nothing to offer. Even small gifts can be used to the glory of God, and we should never feel that we have not much to offer. If you are resting in the grace of Christ, you have something to offer. One grain of grace is worth many pounds of gifts. One child of God has more to offer a dying world than the gifted Shakespeare who, while gifted, apparently had not grace in his soul. We need to lose the mindset that our gifts are not enough, not mature enough, or have grown too dull to use from inapplicaton.
Let us never forget that we are created in the image of God. We have manifold gifts, and while they might be in the pubescent stage of their maturity right now, they can grow. The littleness of the beginnings of our gifts should not cause us to stumble in our attempts to grow and increase in our ability to use what we have been given. We are not all gifted the same, but if we are partakers of the grace that is freely offered in Christ, we have gifts that can and should be used to His glory. If the moon should cry out that it does not shine because it does not shine as brightly as the sun, we would laugh at the absurdity, as we looked at the moon shining in the sky. So it is with the gifts that the Child of God manifests. They do not all shine the same, but they all must shine in order for the church of Christ to be glorious.
Small beginnings do not suggest uselessness. As we exercise our gifts in the service of the Lord, they will grow. They will become stronger. They will mature. May the Lord encourage us to put to faithful use the gifts He has given us to His glory.
Soli Deo Gloria,