• Piyumi Kapugeekiyana

The day of small beginnings

"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 New Living Translation

Everyone likes the finished picture.

The smiling couple celebrating 50 years of marriage

The graduate in tudor bonnet and gown

The published book with its slick jacket and endorsements

The full portfolio of art

The tastefully decorated new home

The corner office

We celebrate the culmination of things. Accomplishments tied up in neat bows - years of effort frozen into a frame. That's all we see. It's why small beginnings can feel so discouraging.

If you're at the start of something new today and it looks fragile and lackluster, take heart.

If the meal doesn't taste as it should,

If your child has done nothing but throw tantrums all day,

If the work of your hands doesn't match the vision in your head,

If your relationship is on shaky ground,

If you're yet to validate that business idea,

If you're surrounded by naysayers,

If all you have is a mustard seed of faith,

You have what it takes.


The biblical account of Zerubbabel encourages us to honor small beginnings. To rejoice over the simple task of picking up our tools and starting work.

It was around 587 B.C. when the Babylonian empire razed Jerusalem and destroyed the Jewish Temple; taking the Israelites captive and leaving a small remnant to work the land. Zerubbabel was an aristocrat born in captivity while his parents were exiled in Babylon.

He went on to become the governor of Israel at a time when the Jewish exiles were returning from their captivity and facing the prospect of starting over. (Imagine that.)

Zerubbabel is best known for leading the effort to rebuild the Temple.

It was in this context that these words were written:

"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”

(Note: The plumb line here refers to a tool used to determine a vertical reference line, in surveying the land.)

It takes creativity and boldness to imagine the finished picture when you're looking at the raw materials. It takes persistence to see the job through and press past the negative voices in and around you.

So if you're starting something:

Don't despise these small beginnings.

Rejoice to see the work begin.

And if you spot someone else starting something:

Resist the urge to critique.

Rejoice to see the work begin.


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©2019 by Piyumi Kapugeekiyana.