The prophet Zechariah asked this penetrating question, “Who has despised the day of small things?” ¹ I have occasionally found myself doing just that. There have been times when I find myself bored with the monotonous metronome of everyday life. At times the “sameness” from one day to the next can be mind-numbing. Many a day has seemed just like the one before it – days of mundane chores and the meaningless minutia of life.
Solomon’s words seem increasingly meaningful the older I get; “There is nothing new under the Sun.” For many, the “I’ve been there and done that” factor becomes more relevant as the years tick by. Sometimes it can seem like I’m just waiting for the clock to run out. Yet, God exhorts us not to despise the days of sameness, quietness and even obscurity. One of the most radically challenging passage from Paul says, “But we urge you, brethren…that you aspire to lead a quiet life, mind your own business, and work with your own hands, as we commanded you.” ²
God had a timely newsflash for Elijah as he sat brooding in his wilderness cave. Even though Elijah thought that he was the last faithful man standing, God revealed that He had a faithful remnant who were doing just fine in their quiet anonymity. Their lives were so ordinary and unremarkable that Elijah didn’t even know they existed. There was nothing newsworthy, hype-worthy, or sensational about them. They were not trying to make the headlines, promote themselves, or seek public attention in any way. They simply didn’t care about such things. Thier example stands in stark contrast to so much that is heralded in contemporary church circles today!
Though this unassuming remnant had no big names, big exploits, or big reputations to attract attention to, the “Most High God” knew who these spiritual “nobodies” were. They were not forgotten nor forsaken in their obscurity. These anonymous few went about their daily rhythms in simple faith as an example for each of us. They weren’t in the spiritual limelight, making spiritual news nor clamoring after spiritual “happenings”. The truth is that most of his remnant, just like the 7,000 of Elijah’s day, will experience the same unassuming lifestyles in quiet simplicity and contented obscurity.
No doubt, those around them saw them as "nobodies" of little consequence, but God saw them as faithful servants who had taken a private stand in the integrity of their own hearts to sanctify themselves from the spiritual melodrama that surrounded them. They had chosen to walk in simple faith and quietly go about their daily tasks with their ears tuned to what God was saying instead. They were not participating in the spiritual compromises or headlines of their day because they had quietly removed themselves from all of it. Their focus was firmly fixed on God and His word alone.
Therefore, wait upon the Lord. Learn to be still in His presence. Learn to appreciate the life of simple faith – despising not the day of small things. Let us be content with such things as we have. As Paul also said, “Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content ³ with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Let us strive to rest in Him, abide in Him and trust in Him whatever the day may bring.
2. I Thess. 10-12 & I Tim. 2:2
3. Content: Greek “Arkeo" - Feeling sufficient, satisfied and contented with”
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