The following is an excerpt from “Do Not Grow Weary in Prayer and Fasting,” written faithfully each week for nearly 10 years by Jerry Hale, Spiritual Emphasis Committee Chair for the Growing and Building Campaign.
(Written 6 DEC 2013) I enjoy reading through the minor prophets this time of the year. I find them chock full of wisdom not only for their own day, but ours as well. Reading through Zechariah, I am excited to read and meditate on the prophetic admonition to Zerubbabel:
“6 So 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 Almighty. 7 “What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’” 8 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. 10 “Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel?”
It seems to me that as we journey through the Christian life we learn more and more that our own efforts are not sufficient to produce accomplishments of lasting spiritual value. Zechariah speaks to this in regards to Israel’s prince, Zerubbabel. He is to start rebuilding the Lord’s temple, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
Over the years, my own life has been one of daily tension between dependence on my own efforts as opposed to trusting God for good outcomes. However, the tension seems to be less of an issue these days as I grow older and realize that I don’t have the necessary energy and resilience to depend on my own abilities. I am also finding this to be an opportunity to follow Jesus’ words about worry found in the Sermon on the Mount:
“31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
These days I have no choice but to trust God in all things and pray through each day; that is, if I want to stay employed and productive in the Kingdom. A case in point has been this past week. I decided to train for and participate in a 5K fun run for a local charity on Thanksgiving Day. I brought along one of our granddaughters for some athletic bonding. We did extremely well in the run and I expected a relatively short recovery. That was not to be, however, as by Monday I was still physically and emotionally exhausted, yet had responsibility to lead a funeral service and participate in several important meetings. I had no choice but to prepare as best I could and trust God to work through the situation.
Not surprisingly, the day worked out just fine. This isn’t to say there is no room for planning and anticipation of alternative outcomes, but it speaks to the most important aspect of our lives. That is that God has a plan for each of us and that includes the details of each day. Our dilemma is to stay on task, and trust God to lead us each day that he gives us.