“So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6 NIV
This verse comes to us from the prophet Zechariah. You see, Zechariah had set out on a tremendous task. One that at times, I’m sure, seemed totally impossible… To rebuild the temple. And here in the fourth chapter of this book, we see that the Lord has given Zechariah a vision… A confusing vision… With lampstands, and olive branches, and bowls of oil… To be honest, if you read it, it can get a little cryptic. In fact, even Zechariah struggles to figure out the meaning behind the vision, and he asks the angel to explain. But when it comes down to it, all the complicated symbolism and imagery boils down to God telling him this:
“Listen Zechariah… You aren’t working on this temple alone. I’ve got your back. I’m going to make sure this thing gets completed. Because to be honest, you can’t do it without me. This temple is going to get built not by human strength or might, but by MY Spirit. So don’t worry about a thing.”
You know, there are these moments in our lives where we just can’t seem to do it anymore… I’m not talking about building a temple. When Zechariah wrote down these words that God gave him, I’m sure he knew that it was going to be speaking to much more than just that…
But there are these times in everyone’s life where it is difficult just to get out of bed each morning, it’s difficult to face the world outside, and it’s difficult to be the person that God created you to be.
And you know, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m the only one who has struggled some days to see my worth and value… But I seriously doubt it.
I can point to so many times in my life where I just didn’t feel like I was good enough to be the person that God wanted me to be. Or I didn’t think I was strong enough to be able to push through a situation that had fallen on top of me. Or when I was scared that maybe the plans that I had and the plans that God had weren’t lining up… and obviously my plans weren’t going to work out. And at these moments I felt helpless, I felt hurt, I felt overwhelmed, and I felt broken.
Whether it is losing your job… losing a loved one… being put in a difficult situation… a new baby… life stresses coming your way… we all get this sense of being overwhelmed. We start comparing ourselves to others, we start finding our worth in other things, and we start feeling that we will never be good enough… But what God is telling Zechariah in this verse is what He is speaking to us every day.
He is saying to us: “I see the things that you are dealing with right now… I see the pain and the hurt that you have, the obstacle that stands in your way, the overwhelming sense that you aren’t going to be able to make it through the rest of this day. But listen… You don’t have to try and make it through this on your own. In fact, you can’t! You don’t have the strength or the power to be able to do this… But I do. You’re going to overcome this… But it’s not by your might, not by your power… But by my Spirit.”
To some, this post may seem untimely. With Thanksgiving coming up next week and Christmas right around the corner, we should probably be posting something about being thankful for the things you have, or loving on your family… or something else. But, as I’ve thought all week about this time coming up, I’ve thought about the families who will be looking at an empty seat next week. About the mom who wants so badly to get her kid that bike or that toy… But she can’t afford it. About the dad who just lost his job right before the holiday season. About the woman whose doctor told her she had 3 months to live… 4 months before Christmas. And I’ve thought about the man who sits at his bed, completely alone… with a handful of pills, ready to take his own life.
It’s not a surprise to hear that people are losing faith in themselves. We live in a world today that is constantly burdening people and making them feel like they aren’t good enough… But God tells us here that we ARE good enough.
We may not be strong enough to overcome this obstacle, but HE is. He has made us exactly how we are supposed to be, for exactly the purpose that He has, and He isn’t going to let anything stand in the way of that. There is nothing that is going to stop God from fulfilling the plans that He has for you, and you have to know that.
Now, I realize that I am just a kid. I’m not blind to the fact that I don’t have nearly the amount of life experience as most of the people reading this. And I realize that I’m not exactly the authority on biblical interpretation, or in a position to give advice on how to handle life’s situations, because there are a lot of things that I haven’t experienced yet. But, I do know that when I feel like I am not enough, God is. And when I feel like I’m not the person or the leader I should be, God is. And when I feel like I can’t do it anymore… God can.
Let me type that one more time so you truly get it: God can.
I truly hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving week. When listing off the things that I am thankful for, Greenbrier Nazarene is at the top of the list! I love you all dearly.
Hunter, Creative Arts Director
There will be no blog post next week! Happy Thanksgiving!