A couple weeks ago, my daily reading was in the book of Haggai. It’s a really short book, with only two chapters. Before then, I hadn’t remembered much from Haggai, but it really stuck with me this time.
As you might know, Kelly and I own a new software consulting business. I’ve been a good consultant for many years, but this is the first time I’ve been responsible for the entire business, and frankly, it’s way outside my area of expertise, not to mention being 2,000 miles away from all of the connections I had made before we moved. I had been working on completing a project that I started before we left Wisconsin. It was getting close to the end, and I still hadn’t found a new project to take its place. No project means no income.
Our kids believe in miracles. They have seen God do many things for us, some small and some great. As far as they are concerned, there is no reason to think that He won’t bless us again when we need it. Sometimes it’s hard to keep that childlike faith on my own, so each night when we pray with the kids, we pray for the business as well. We pray that God will bring us good customers when we need them. Their simple faith increases my own.
For the most part, I’ve been able to keep my faith that God will come through for us, but, if I’m being honest, sometimes that’s really hard. As I was going through Haggai, I was in the middle of one of those times where it was harder than normal for me.
In chapter 1, God’s people were squeaking by, and the temple was in ruins.
You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!
This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you!
Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the LORD.
They had, but they did not have enough. I’ve been there. I was there right then.
When the people realized how they’ve neglected the temple, they committed to restoring it. This, of course, pleased God, and in chapter 2, Haggai prophesied that “the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple.” God goes on to promise, “The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory.”
In a time where I was worried about the future, God timed my daily reading to remind me that I am the temple of God, and He used it to promise that the future glory will be greater than the past glory!
I don’t know if I’ve ever been surer that God was speaking directly to me as I was in that moment. But wait! There’s more!
Think about this eighteenth day of December, the day when the foundation of the LORD’s Temple was laid. Think carefully.
I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.
God says, “Always remember the day that you started restoring the temple. Your seed is still in the barn — you haven’t even planted it yet — but from now on I will bless you.”
I have to say that this both encouraged and convicted me at the same time. Have I been neglecting the temple? Was there a promise I made to God that I hadn’t kept yet? Yes, there was. So that week I started fulfilling that ongoing promise I had made.
Our seed is still in the barn. In fact, we don’t even know enough to properly plant or nurture the seed anyway. But God is blessing us. I’m happy to say that this week I got word on two new projects that will take us through the next several months or longer. We are harvesting seed that we did not plant.
Are you in a place where you eat but are not satisfied? Do you put on clothes but find you cannot keep warm? Maybe there is a temple that needs to be rebuilt.