For who has despised the day of small things? – Zechariah 4:10
You would think the King of the universe would love to do things in a big way, like humans do. We love doing things in a big way, and for a big audience. We yearn for the bright lights and those fifteen minutes of fame.
But God, who is fully capable of pulling off the grand show, appears instead to love small beginnings. Unlike His creation, He shuns the spotlight.
He populated an entire planet with two people fashioned from dirt and built a nation with a sheep-herder. He took a man from the dirty water of the Nile and made him a deliverer. He created soldiers from slaves and conquered whole kingdoms with simple acts of obedience.
He flattened tower walls with a shout of praise and sent fire from heaven at the sound of a prayer.
He called a shepherd boy from the hills and set him over an entire nation. He used David’s simple songs of anguish and praise to bring comfort to millions of hurting people for generations after him. He set a man upon the throne because he only asked for wisdom. He sent a Jewish captive to save her people from the plot of a powerful and deadly enemy.
When the appointed time came for the King to set foot in His kingdom, it was not the grand halls of earth that received His Majesty, but a cave. He didn’t arrive to the roar of adoring crowds, but to the wondering whispers of shepherds. He didn’t come in a blaze of glory, but under the light of a shimmering star.
The first Voice the earth heard from its King was not the triumphant shout of victory, but the wail of a baby. The first witnesses of His glory were His parents and some animals. He arrived surrounded by little warmth, light, or comfort. Instead, He brought all three with Him.
Out of prison cells across the centuries and from the cracked lips of suffering, God’s glory has emerged. Beaten, persecuted, despised, and weak, God’s people have always been the lowly canvas upon which He has painted His masterpiece of love. With small strokes of color poured out upon His palette with each life, He produces a work of breathtaking beauty and scope.
God rejoices in small beginnings because it gives Him a chance to work, a chance to be our strength, our comfort, our Deliverer. It offers Him the opportunity to fill the vacuum left by our nothingness. Since He can’t fill us with His glory when we’re already full of ourselves, smallness keeps us empty.
Thank God for small beginnings. May we always be small in our own eyes.