Janine and I were sitting under a tree talking. That was before we were wed. I picked up a rock as small as a penny and colored the same. It was a soft little dusty brown stone. I began to rub it with my fingers and sculpted it into the shape of a heart. You’d think I had bought her a diamond. She coated it with fingernail polish and nested it with her jewelry.
Zachariah preached in a day when God’s people were rebuilding their temple. The temple had been torn down and burned along with their cities by enemies who subjected them to slavery. Their tortuous trace went through the outlying city of Lachish and then it fell on Jerusalem. Now they had returned to a mountain of rubble on the temple site. The ragtag band that they were, all their efforts at rebuilding it were criticized as small (Zechariah 7). But Zechariah knew better. He shouted, “Who has despised the day of small things?” (Verse 10).
To calculate deeds dedicated to God as inconsequential uses an inadequate mathematics — an algebra that neglects one overlooked essential element. That intangible but mighty force is called faith. When it comes to faith, a little bit goes a long way. Jesus said that faith as little as a tiny seed of mustard greens can move that mountain of rubble piled up on the holy ground where the temple once rose high in glory and gold. The shadows of a better memory did not overshadow that diamond in the rough which was chiseled out of love for God with a little bit of faith.
If you must, all our meager efforts are small. The little bit we can muster up is only as dust in comparison to the every day chore in Heaven. Every stretch of a muscle accumulated into the sum total movements that total all the years of your life are but dust in the shadow of Paradise. Yet Jesus has delivered into our soul the unction to uproot mountains of rubbish and stir it into the garden so that its fruit overshadows every hardship we face. The victory is already there in the heart.
A man had a son that was tormented with convulsions and uncontrollable fits of foaming at the mouth. A mighty demon tore away at the seams of that family. He gathered him up and took him to Jesus. Jesus asked, “How long has this been happening to him? ”
The man sighed, “From childhood, and many times it has thrown him into fire or water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus exclaimed, “ ‘If you can’? Everything is possible for the one who believes.”
The man cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!” and Jesus took the boy by the hand and healed him (Mark 9:20-27).
There was a little bit of faith there! There stood a man beaten down with turmoil that disrupted his every waking hour. Perhaps his faith was only as small as a mustard seed. It wavered in the gale forced winds of grief. And that mountainous heap of despair, that barrier of a burden to bare, that torturous and disruptive trial disappeared into thin air.
God took his grain of faith and rubbed his fingers over its fragile surface. He shaped it into a heart strong with the comfort and consolation of his unceasing and unfaltering strength. And the rubble soothed out against the pressure of His hand.