Don’t Despise These Long Days Full of Small Things

Your bleary eyes blink open as the morning sun beams through the window. You wake up again, ready for another day that feels exactly like the one before it.

Your feet hit the hard floor. Your body is weary, and your mind foggy.

And your heart….well, honestly it’s had better days.

Right now, you’re exhausted. Because every day is exactly the same as the day before. Because nothing’s changing or happening or even showing the faintest sign of sprouting – let alone growing or flourishing.

The days are so long, and they’re full of things that don’t matter.

Small things, like going to work and taking out the trash and emptying the dishwasher and going grocery shopping. Small things, like changing diapers and walking the dog and remembering to buy toothpaste. Things that are just simply boring, and definitely aren’t the great things you pictured yourself doing all those years ago.

You were a dreamer. You had grand ideas and big plans and loud goals. Now, of course you knew that the laundry would still need turning and the bills would still need paying and the soap would still need buying. It’s not like you thought everything would be amazing always and you’d never feel burnt out by the mundane.

It’s just that you really didn’t think you’d be asking the question, “Is this all there is?”

You didn’t think that life would be only small things.

What you’re doing seems so insignificant.

It’s all necessary, but how is this changing the world?

How in the world is any of this constant getting out of bed to do the same things over again every single day – really doing anything at all?

You’re discouraged. And tired. And maybe even heartbroken.

When is any of this going to matter?

The dreamer in you feels…dead.

And yet, there’s still something in you that hasn’t let go. You may not even realize it’s there, but it’s a tiny whisper in the back of your mind, or a tiny ray of hope in the corner of your heart.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…” Zechariah 4:10

Here’s the thing.

You – tired, downcast, weary you – continuing to wake up every morning, put one foot in front of the other, and do what’s been put in front of you to do – you matter. This matters. 

What you are doing – small and insignificant as it seems – matters so very much.

It matters, and it’s doing something. You can’t see what’s happening underneath the surface, but these long days of hard work and continuous effort?

They are planting days. They are sowing days.

You may feel like all you’re doing is meaningless work, but what you’re really doing is sowing.

You’re sowing, and planting, and preparing. You may not know it, but your work here in this place is the most important work you’ll ever do.

Because it’s tilling the ground and making things ready for a great harvest. It’s watering and nourishing and cultivating – and one day soon, you’ll see a sprout where there was only dirt. You’ll see that sprout, and hope will spring up in your heart, and that sprout will give you the jolt of courage you need to keep sowing, keep planting, keep watering, and soon…

That sprout will become a plant, and that plant will become a bush, and that bush will become a thriving, flowering, majestic picture of all that you were faithful to do in the long days.

Don’t despise these days. They are so hard and disappointing. They wear the soul thin and run the heart ragged.

But you can’t have a harvest without them. You can’t see the fulfillment of a dream without them.

So be faithful to put in the work.

If you’re tired, rest. But then get up and keep sowing.

If you’re discouraged, take a break and tend to your soul. Go on a hike or buy a bouquet of flowers or get coffee with someone who means a lot to you. But then get back at it and keep watering.

Keep going to work, putting in the hours, being faithful to do what God’s given you to do today.

Why? Because in the midst of your sowing, you’re reaping an intimacy with Jesus that can never be taken away.

Don’t despise that which makes you lean upon Christ.

And He hasn’t forgotten about your dreams. These long days full of insignificant sowing are adding up to an abundant harvest. But more importantly, they’re drawing you to Him. Knowing Him is worth it all.

More than anything –  more than the promise, the dream come true, the day of harvest – more than all of that – these long days are like a string, pulling you closer and closer to His heart.

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