Zechariah 4:10a, "Do not despise these small beginnings..."
How many of you have ever paid attention to seeds?
Not too long ago, I wrote a devotional called Plant the Seed. In that devotional, I shared how we are to plant seeds even before we see what God is up to. We must plant beforehand because God will send rain to water those seeds and we need to make sure they're planted when He does. If we wait to plant seeds until God sends the rain, we will never harvest anything.
Thursday night, while driving home from Bakersfield, I was talking to God, and He shed light on something in my life. This is what He revealed to me: I have a tendency to want the seeds I just planted to be full-grown trees the day after I plant them.
What do I mean by this?
I meet someone and want us to be best friends the next day.
I begin writing, and I desire to put my own book together and have it published and on the shelves at the book store next week.
I start getting more dedicated to pro-life ministry, and I want to see an end to abortion instantaneously.
While watching a "Love Come's Softly" movie a while back, there was one line that caught my attention. I wondered if it was a biblical quote or simply a quote someone had made up along the way. I don't remember the exact way they said it, but it was something to the effect of "Don't despise meager beginnings."
This caught my attention, and it stands out to me all the more now. It turns out, in Zechariah 4:10 we find that it starts out by saying, "Do not despise these small beginnings..."
As God spoke to my heart, He made me think of the fact that every friendship started somewhere. People met, and then that friendship grew. It started with a seed, and then after time with nourishment, it became a strong, healthy friendship.
He also made me think of babies being conceived with a seed. What started with a seed was actually just the beginning of a beautiful, precious life.
Like most wonderful things, it takes time for these things to grow. A seed is planted, and then it begins to sprout little buds. Roots begin to grow, and trees are eventually the end result. There are many aspects to this, but a major one is the aspect of time.
Trees, as we all know, don't get planted on Monday and grow into a full-grown tree by Friday. It takes time. It takes good soil. It takes nourishment and care. Relationships are the same. People don't become best friends after meeting one time for an hour or two. Healthy friendships grow after many times of spending time together and getting to know one another.
God's been preparing the ground in my life for me to begin planting seeds in healthy soil. He's been working with me to rid the ground of my life of toxic relationships, unhealthy balances in my schedule, and heart attitudes that have needed major work in. It's been a process, but for the most part, the soil is ready, and I'm in the planting season right now.
The biggest thing for me at this moment is to keep pressing on into what God has set before me. I can't give up on building good friendships with people. I need to keep investing into the lives of those God's opening doors with. Eventually, I believe I will reach the harvest season if I don't give up.
I can't begin writing and then just quit until a book is published. I must keep writing, and those seeds will one day turn into a harvest if I don't give up. Thankfully, God has been opening doors for me in this area, and I am getting to see buds and roots beginning to pop through this writing seed I've planted.
When it comes to saving lives, it starts one life at a time.
If you are feeling like you're in a "small beginning" point, I encourage you to not give up planting those seeds in good soil. Persevere and keep on keeping on. Remember that it all starts with a seed. Don't despise small beginnings.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You really spoke to my heart last night when You gave me the analogy of seeds. You opened my eyes to the fact that everything had to start somewhere, and it started with something small. Help me continue to plant seeds and be patient instead of wanting the seed I just planted to already be a full-grown tree. In Jesus' Name.