I was a pretty freaked out kid growing up. What was it that scared me so much, you may ask? Was it monsters under the bed? Was it scary movies, or maybe the dark?
Nope. Though these things may seem pretty reasonable to be afraid of as a kid, there was one thing that scared me more than all the rest.
Like, literally. You read that right. People. I was so terrified of social interaction as a kid that my teachers wondered if I even knew how to speak any words. This fear kept its grip on me all through elementary and middle school, even going so far to be on sports teams for entire seasons and not speaking to a single person. It wasn’t until the very last meet of the track season in eighth grade that my dad forced my hand. He told me that we were not leaving the school until I said something to someone. After spending the first hour baffled over the fact that my father would even suggest such a thing, I realized he was right. I had to overcome this fear.
So, at the very last event, I reached over to the girl next to me, tapped her shoulder, and barely eked out: “I like your glasses!” I don’t even remember how she responded, because I was just so excited that I did it. I initiated a conversation with another person.
Yes, I know, this was such a small start. But it was a start, and that was all I needed. Today, I may still have that fear of talking to people creep back up from time to time, but because I was willing to take a small step, I’ve been able to walk a mile (literally, because eighth grade track was the last time I ever was good at running the mile). God loves these 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 NLT
God is all about small beginnings. It doesn’t matter to him how far gone we feel we are, how messed up, how weak or afraid we are, all he cares about is that we start somewhere. He loves to see the work begin, so that he can help us become who we are meant to be.
What is an area of your life that needs a new beginning? Maybe you feel like you don’t even know where to start in dating, starting a new job, making new friends, or changing something in your character. To take it all on our own is overwhelming, but when we go to God with it, he can take us where we need to go.
An Unlikely Hero
Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites.  The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!”Judges 6:11-12 NLT
When God told Gideon he was a mighty hero, Gideon was at the bottom of a pit, hiding from the people he was afraid of. I don’t know about you, but that’s not what comes to mind when I think of the word “hero.” It’s not what Gideon thought of either.
Go with the Strength You Have
“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The LORD brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”  Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”  “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”  The LORD said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”Judges 6:13-16 NLT
Gideon found all the reasons why God shouldn’t choose him for something great. He doubted himself and doubted God, thinking he was too weak and small to do anything and that God didn’t care enough to help. Gideon felt insecure, alone, and bitter and angry at God. Even so, God saw him as a mighty hero. Not because of who he was, but because of who he was capable of becoming. Even though Gideon didn’t have much strength, God told him to go with what he had, and he would take care of the rest.
This is how God is with us. He doesn’t want us to go with strength we don’t have, or even to not be afraid of the things that terrify us. All he wants is for us to go with what we do have, however small, and give him a chance at making us who we’re meant to be.
What doubts do you have about yourself? About God? Be honest about these doubts and insecurities with God and friends so that you can see who God is calling you to be!
“But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”Isaiah 43:18-19 NLT
It can be easy to look to the past and let regret, insecurity, and flaws hold us back from becoming who we are meant to be. But God doesn’t want that to be our focus. God never looks back, whether at our past failures or even our past achievements. He is always looking ahead, not looking at what we should’ve done, but on what we can do.
He’s already begun planning something awesome for your life, are you on board, or are you held back by regret or insecurity from the past?
There are Things to Do!
“God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’”Romans 8:14-15 MSG
The life God has for us is not one held back by fear. When we deal with the doubt and fear that stops us from taking that first step toward the purpose God has planned for us, we can see where God is beckoning us to go.
When was the last time you prayed about a vision you and God can accomplish together? The last time you asked God, “What’s next?” What “things to do and places to go” is God beckoning you toward? What are you waiting for?
Start Small, Think Big
This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”Matthew 10:42 MSG
It doesn’t matter how small you feel you’re starting. All that matters is that you start. Choose to have one conversation, notice one person’s needs, do one good thing. Just start. You have no idea how much God can do with these small beginnings.
To learn more about God doing big things with small beginnings, come to our Girls Night Out, “Beginnings”, on March 2!
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