Like the children of Judah, we too have a choice. We can measure the significance of our lives by the size of our accomplishments, or we can trust God to use our small offerings for His great glory.
"Who dares despise the day of small things …" Zechariah 4:10a (NIV)
Laundry frames the end of my day. Stacks of clean underwear and yet-to-be-folded T-shirts, drifts of unmatched socks and mountains of wrinkled jeans.
Upturned baskets are scattered across the living room like tiny tables awaiting a tea party. But I’;m not in the mood for a midnight soiree; I’m drinking from my own deep reservoirs of self-pity.
I’m exhausted and the voices of discouragement in my head rise above what my heart knows to be true.
What did you do all day?
Why don’t you ever get anything done?
You’re never going to have time to do something that really matters.
Dishes and dirt, tantrums and time-outs — some days, a mother’s life can feel so small.
I rub the palm of my hand over those crumpled jeans, trying to press out the unwanted creases that sprouted in the dark of the unattended dryer.If only I could smooth the ragged edges of my soul in a similar fashion.
"Sometimes I just want to do something bigger than all of this …" I tell my husband, as he joins me on the floor and begins stacking the folded laundry into piles.
I imagine you’ve felt the same at one time or another. You don’t need to be a mother to feel discouraged by the daily grind. Whether you’re running errands or running a business, planning a meal or planning a merger, the everyday mundane can seem trifling and insignificant.
My man sits beside me in silence, weighing his words. Finally, he murmurs, "Just because what you’re doing feels small, doesn’t mean that it is."
I’m tempted to discard his comment like I dispose of ratty socks, but then I remember the scene that had unfolded on the driveway earlier that afternoon.
The kids had designed a racetrack on the cement with squiggles of pink sidewalk chalk and then lined up their scooters for a friendly competition. I launched the action with a wave of my hand and stepped back to watch the race. Wheels squeaked. Kids squealed. And then a shrill cry halted the fun.
My 10-year-old laid sprawl-eagle on the ground, surrounded by a smorgasbord of broken scooter parts. Blood oozed from a gash in her knee, and her blue eyes brimmed with tears.
"What happened?" I asked as I ran to her side.
"I don’t know …" Hannah mumbled as she surveyed the collection of bolts and screws, rivets and spokes that dotted the driveway. "My scooter was just missing one little piece …"
She dropped her head in chagrin. "Something fell off my scooter right before the race began, but it was just a small thing, so I didn’t think it was important."
As I lifted Hannah to her feet, her little brother began gathering the scattered parts in a bucket. With an ornery grin, he presented the pieces to his sister and declared, "I guess that small thing was really a big deal after all."
While there’s no mention of a scooter race in the age-old book of Zechariah, God’s message in today’s key verse rings with a familiar echo straight from my pink-chalked driveway.
"Who dares despise the day of small things …"
God first spoke these words to the children of Judah as they prepared to rebuild the temple, one small brick at a time. I think He realized that they might grow discouraged in the daily grind, that the monotony of laying bricks day after day might eventually feel insignificant and trivial. But God knew that those little bricks would one day create a big opportunity for worship if His children remained faithful to the task.
Like the children of Judah, we, too, have a choice. We can measure the significance of our lives by the size of our accomplishments, or we can trust God to use our small offerings for His great glory.
As for me, I think I’ll ask God to renew my passion for this ordinary, laundry-folding-carpooling life that I live. ’Cause there’s a broken scooter in my garage that reminds me that the small stuff just might be a big deal after all!
Heavenly Father, please forgive me for trying to measure my significance by the size of my accomplishments. I want to serve You with all of my heart in big ways and small ways. Give me fresh passion for my daily grind and help me to glorify You in all that I do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters ..." (NIV)
Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (NIV)
Sometimes big change begins with a small yes. Lysa TerKeurst’s devotional, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God Devotional, will encourage you to live for God in big ways and small ways.
Visit Alicia Bruxvoort's blog today for more encouragement and a small giveaway.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Take a moment to thank someone who has blessed or encouraged you in a small way this week. Your small gift of gratitude could make a big difference!
Do a heart check! Prayerfully consider your attitude toward the small tasks that comprise your days. Invite God to give you a new passion for the small stuff in your life.