Today, I am blogging over at Tennent’s Light & Heat. What fun it has been to work on that publication, editing, interviewing, and occasionally, writing. Many thanks to all who have followed our blog over there! Here’s an excerpt from today’s edition:
Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain…”For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice…
—Zechariah 4:6-7, 10
In every classroom, there are boisterous kids, big kids, kids who shine, kids who soak up attention. And then, hidden away in the corner, are the quiet kids—a head shorter than the others, inconspicuous and little-remembered. These are the kids we overlook. Small people, insignificant. Or are they?
According to a recent study by the University of New Hampshire, “Nearly 35 percent of rural counties in the United States are experiencing protracted and significant population loss.” You may have visited these places. Towns where Main Street is mostly vacant, or children ride the bus an hour to get to the nearest school. Communities where poverty is rampant and opioid use is a plague. Churches in these areas are likewise small, and pastor turnover is common. These are the areas we overlook. Small places, unimportant. Or are they?
As a culture, we revere the big and flashy, and tend to despise the incredible worth and eternal significance of small things—small people, small places, and small beginnings. But the upside-down kingdom of God restores dignity to small people, and reminds us that God looks not on the outward appearance of things, but on the heart. As Francis Schaeffer contended, there are “no little people, no little places.”
The best things often start small, mustard seeds of faith taking root invisibly underground. This is by design. It’s impossible to be Christlike without being humble, happily taking the back seat. A key part of Christian formation, then, is cultivating an appreciation for the spiritual treasure house of small things, learning to see behind appearances and look, as Jesus did, a little deeper.
To read the rest of this article, please visit Light & Heat!
P.S. Did you know I recently cranked out another little book? (It really was little.) I felt an overwhelming sense of compassion for all of the new moms and dads who found themselves juggling homeschool unexpectedly this year, and out popped Suddenly Schooling: A Survival Guide For Panicky Parents. We priced it as cheaply as we could get away with in hopes that people might buy an extra copy to encourage a friend! Check it out!