God’s Precious Gifts

Today’s scripture: Zechariah 4:6 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

Sissy, the beautiful Calico cat that had been my friend Bill’s faithful companion for over fifteen years, was dead. Bill sounded like he was shedding a few tears when he told me on the phone that his cat had passed on. He also told me something I had not known — that he had held her as a tiny kitten when she first entered his life.

I realized again how fragile life is and how fleeting it can be. I reflected on my mother’s life being cut short at 49 years, which happened 30 years ago this month, and yet also of the miracle of birth that happens “routinely” every day.

When I thought of Bill holding Sissy when she was a tiny kitten, though, it was a reminder of how precious life is, and that each of our lives is a gift from God — a miracle that happens only because of the Creator’s intent and design. It takes God’s intervention to make anything truly great happen.

And, I think that’s what this verse tells me. Zerubbabel had the awesome job of building the temple, and I’m guessing he must have felt overwhelmed at the towering task set before him. God’s word to Zeru was that it was not human power or worldly strength that would see him through, but rather God’s spirit. And God’s spirit among us is as precious as the birth of a baby, or the love of a faithful pet. It’s something sacred that we can treasure and tap into.

In fact, any move of God is a gift — a product of God’s loving generosity — as opposed to something of our own doing. This automatically cancels out any notion of overblown pride or big-headedness that could have me thinking, perhaps even unconsciously, “I’m so good at this! Look what I did! I’m just a little above everybody else!” God’s response to this kind of thinking is, “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?” (I Corinthians 4:7b).

With this perspective, we are free to see how generous God truly is, and how much we need every ounce of God’s precious wisdom and strength in order to respond to life’s challenges.

Thought for the day: We entered this world only because of God’s miracle of birth. And, when we depart, it’s only God’s miracle that will take us into eternity. So, while we’re here, doesn’t it make sense to seek God’s Spirit of wisdom and strength with everything we’ve got?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.