May 29, 2023

Small Beginnings

Devotion for the Week...

I'm getting ready to launch something new in late June. I'm really excited about it, but I have no idea what to expect in terms of how it will be received and whether or not people will be as excited about it as I am. I'm hoping at least some of you will be! As much as I dream of it being a runaway bestseller (wouldn't that be great?), I expect it to start small and then, hopefully, grow from there. For now, I'm picking away daily at all the things that need to be done before it's ready to be put out into the world. That's what I had in mind the other day when I read this: "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand" (Zechariah 4:10).

In the preceding verse, we learn that, "Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it" (v. 9). This was in the time after the Israelites had returned from their exile, and the Temple was in ruins. Zerubbabel's work was to rebuild the Temple, which was no small task and probably felt insurmountable at times. It took two years to rebuild the foundation of the Temple, and then construction stopped for 17 years due to opposition. Finally, God sent Haggai and Zechariah to encourage Zerubbabel to get back to work on the Temple, which then took another 4 years to complete. So, our verse about small beginnings came 19 years after Zerubbabel first started work on the Temple, and just as he was picking up his tools to get started on round two. He probably wanted nothing more than to be finished already! Was he exhausted by the thought of 4 years worth of work? Did those first few stones moved into position feel like barely a drop in the bucket? Even one day's worth of work was probably hardly noticeable. But God said they shouldn't despise the small beginnings, and that He rejoiced just to see the plumb line (a tool for keeping walls straight) in Zerubbabel's hand. 

I absolutely love that! I love that God rejoices just to see the work begin. Can we bring that same attitude to our own work? Usually we're so focused on getting something finished, we neglect to see what a triumph it is just to get started.

Getting started means we've put aside our laziness (just me?), our insecurities, our 'I'm too busy', or our 'I'll get to it later,' and taken the leap to actually do something. Whether that's something that needs to be done (cleaning, grocery shopping), something we're excited about (a new quilt), or something we're nervous about (watch for that announcement next month!), getting started is a big deal. 

Then, once we've started, each day's work, no matter how small it seems, is another step in the right direction.
God rejoices to see us with tools in hand, making a start |
What could you celebrate today, just because you have started? Whatever it is, we can know that God rejoices to see us with tools in hand, making a start.


  1. Thanks for that encouragement. My Bible study group just finished the book of Ezra so it was a familiar time in the Bible and history for me. But I had overlooked this particular message or maybe missed the study that week. Thanks so much.

  2. That's not a passage that I was familiar with, but the message from it is definitely timely! I'm pretty good at starting things (as my overflowing box of half-done quilt projects will prove!), but I need to START finishing them too! Thanks Leanne!

  3. Thank you Leanne for today’s message! I can easily procrastinate on things I don’t want to do. However when you introduced The Women of Wisdom quilt, I just jumped right on it and completed the quilt top on time! I’m looking forward to the paper piecing class on Saturday.


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