The Small Things

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It had been one of those days. Even after crawling into bed, I could still smell the vomit.

The day started at 5 a.m. with heaves from our five-year-old’s bedroom—stomach flu. When I hadn’t been mopping a floor or a brow, I’d been sanitizing to keep everyone else well. To top it off, the three-year-old felt a little too good, alternating between hunger and hyper all day.

I was exhausted. “God, help,” I whispered.

The day of small things,” was my answer. More than a voice, I heard this phrase in my spirit. Wasn’t this a verse somewhere? Where was the reference? I fell asleep wondering.

While the kids napped the next afternoon, I found my answer in one of the minor prophets. “For who despises the day of small things? These seven eyes of the Lord, which scan throughout the whole earth, will rejoice when they see the ceremonial stone in Zerubbabel’s hand” (Zechariah 4:10). What an odd reference. How could this possibly apply to cleaning vomit?

As I read, I discovered that Zerubbabel, a governor of Judah, was also overwhelmed. He’d been given a task without the necessary resources or ability. In such a state of mind, the Word of the Lord had come to him. “Don’t despise the day of the insignificant,” God had said. “I’m watching your every move. And as I watch, I rejoice.”

I definitely felt overwhelmed. I was tired, cranky, and defeated. My life revolved around small things: preschool children, menial chores, and even my time in the Word seemed tiny. “Don’t despise these days of small things,” God reiterated. How could these insignificant details bring Him joy? 

I took heart, highlighting the verse and committing it to memory. I would need it many times in the coming days. 

Today, thirty years later, I still value this truth. My “small things” have changed, but I often feel insignificant. When a friend’s child passes suddenly or another friend attempts to take her own life, my ability to help feels negligible. A prayer text or a casserole seems totally inadequate compared to the magnitude of needs around me. 

Yet, the Father continues to encourage me not to undervalue the influence of each small act of service. “Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much” (Luke 16:10). I’m not the only body member who cares for these needs. Even the loaves and fish didn’t seem enough for five thousand until He blessed and multiplied it. As I do my part, no matter how meager, it is increased when offered first to His Hand. 


Father, thank You for accomplishing all things for me. Take my small details and multiply them as an investment toward Your glory. Grant me daily encouragement so I may not be overwhelmed with my insignificance. Raise up others in Your body to fill in the gaps I cannot fill, and open my eyes to see my portion as You do — powerful in Your Hand. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”