December 12, 2022
That Prepared Me for This
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“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 4:10a (NLT)
My team at work is the best! I sincerely appreciate what every one of my co-workers brings to the table. Our most recent hire came to us with no previous pharmacy experience, but he had enthusiasm and a desire to learn, so we brought him on.
Every day, he shows up on time and ready to work. He’s flexible. He’s energetic. He’s efficient. He’s bilingual. You should see the way customers’ faces light up when they hear the words “habla español?”
After one of the most head-spinning, most overwhelming and busiest workdays EVER, I had to ask him, “What’s your secret? How do you stay so calm?”
His response made me laugh and got me thinking.
“Yesterday was nothing compared to when I used to work at Burger King at my university. The lunch hour there was crazy!”
Burger King? While fast food restaurants and pharmacies are both fast-paced and high-energy workplaces, who would’ve thought that a job in a totally different industry would have prepared him for this?
God uses everything we go through to teach us and equip us. Every humbling and exhausting experience either prepares us for the next humbling and exhausting experience or prepares us for a mountaintop experience where we appreciate God’s sovereignty in a whole new way.
We see this throughout Scripture.
How was Moses prepared to lead over a million Israelites out of Egypt?
After killing an Egyptian man to defend an Israelite slave, Moses fled to the desert and worked under his father-in-law, Jethro, tending sheep. Caring for flocks of sheep prepared him to care for God's people.
Long before Moses was born, Joseph was put in charge of a prison before he was put in charge of a nation.
Later, at the end of the Israelites' Babylonian exile, Nehemiah’s role as a cupbearer to the king granted him the favor and the resources needed to pursue his passion of rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall.
Zerubbabel was also a leader after the exile. He was involved in spearheading the reconstruction of Jerusalem’s temple. There was an overwhelming amount of work to be done, and it was easy to be discouraged.
But God spoke through the prophet Zechariah: “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 4:10a).
Friends, the work God desires to do in us has to start somewhere!
We’ve all had days and seasons of life where we have wondered, How could this be preparing me for anything?
But it always does.
God uses ALL things — clueless sheep, prison walls and even hungry college students — to equip us, prepare us and launch us into His will for our lives. Sometimes that means humble beginnings build our character for future roles God has in store; it also means knowing we never have to be “promoted” to serve God. After all, Jesus spent His time on earth as a humble carpenter and traveling minister, “for even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve” (Mark 10:45, NLT).
Even if it looks small right now, let’s be faithful where we are and submit our desires to God. I believe we will be amazed at the mighty work God can do in and through us!
Heavenly Father, thank You for never wasting a single moment of our lives. Even when times are difficult, help us to remember You will work things out for our good and for Your glory. We submit our lives into Your loving hands. Please give us the strength to live according to Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)
Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (NIV)
How has a difficult or challenging experience in your life helped to prepare and better equip you for another situation in your life? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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