Hello TCU Family,
Our devotional today is written by Evan Maynard. Evan is a junior at TCU double majoring in Political Science and Economics from Purcell, Oklahoma. He is a lead team member and small group leader for our Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) organization on campus. When asked what he loves about TCU, Evan said he loves that TCU is small enough to get a good sense of community but not too small. He also loves the general atmosphere of the area, as people often seem welcoming and kind. May Evan’s words guide you today on your Lenten journey.
Zechariah 4:10(a), “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”
Do you ever feel like nothing is really happening, like nothing is really changing? No matter how much work you do, no matter how tired you get, nothing seems to get accomplished; you are no closer to the goal that you set? That you’ve failed and let everyone (including yourself) down? Maybe you even feel strongly that the Lord has called you to something, and you’re desperately waiting for it to happen, but there seems to be no change and no answer.
This passage in Zechariah was a message from the Lord to Zerubbabel- the then governor of the city of Jerusalem. The Jewish people had just spent 70 years in captivity in Babylon, and now they had returned. Zerubbabel had a monumental task set before him – the reconstruction of the Temple. The holy place of Judaism, where God’s name was said to reside. Zerubbabel was doing a lot of good work, but 20 years later, the Temple still hadn’t been completed.
Zerubbabel was working hard for 20 years, and he had been working for God the whole time. God can do all things, so why didn’t he complete the Temple in an instant? Why didn’t he complete it in 20 weeks instead of 20 years? Every day Zerubbabel and the Israelites toiled and laid stones, put up pillars, and decorated the structure to rebuild the house of the Lord. No progress ever seemed to be made, as 20 years later the Temple still hadn’t been completed. Maybe you feel the same, that God has begun some great work, and he could do it instantly, but he hasn’t finished it yet. Or maybe this season of life, where you’re stuck watching class on Zoom, not allowed to go outside, not allowed to see your friends, maybe that feels like a “day of small things.” So what’s the point? Why did God allow Zerubbabel, a great Godly man, to work for 20 years on a project that could have been done instantly, and why does God allow us to walk through similar seasons?
God cares just as much about the work he was doing through Zerubbabel as what he was doing in Zerubbabel. The same applies to you! These days may seem small like you have a monumental task set before you that you’ll never see through; it may seem like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. In the moments where you feel these things are the moments where you should remember that God is doing a great and mighty work in you as well as through you.
The Bible has plenty of passages meant to encourage you in times like this. Romans 8:28, which says that all things work for the good of those who love the Lord. Hebrews 12:2, which says that Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (meaning we’re still a work in progress). Psalm 65:2, which says that the Lord hears our prayers. Matthew 6, where Jesus tells us to look to the sparrow and know that if they are cared for, certainly we are too.
During these days it may seem like nothing is happening, but remember that you are not alone in this. We are all struggling through this season together. And more than that, as we look towards Easter, we can fix our eyes upon Jesus who has already defeated every evil in this world, who was raised to life because death had no hold on a sinless man. Through Christ we can live with hope for tomorrow and peace for today. No matter how small these beginnings seem, the Almighty, King Creator of all things, holy Jehovah divine, cares deeply for you and is at work all around you.
Lord, help me to see that in these small days, You are still at work. Help me to see Your mighty hand, your provision, and your endless love and grace. In turn, help me to go out and share this love and grace, this hope that I have, with the rest of the world. Amen.