As I write this, I’m waiting for a phone call. Our church recently completed pouring concrete for a much-needed upgrade on the parking spaces by the daycare facility. They were asking for help and so, although Bob and I have absolutely no experience in these things, we showed up to see what we could do, which was as expected—very little. So I provided food for the workers for a few days.
Now some painting needs to be done, a yellow caution strip to prevent tripping over the little step-up to the sidewalk. Again, I’ve never painted on concrete, but put a brush in my hand and tell me where and I might actually make a small contribution! (Or a mess, or both…)
I’m thinking it’s pretty easy to get in a rut by denying our services, even if you think you don’t have anything to offer. In fact, it turns into rationalizing, and humans are experts at that one. Nah, that’s not my thing, or she has that covered, or he can do it better than I can.
That may be true, but sometimes just showing up to offer help goes a L-O-N-G way in building relationships, which is what this is all about anyway.
Rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem after decades of lying in ruin must have been a daunting endeavor. I love that Nehemiah was not a construction engineer, he was the king’s cup-bearer! But his leadership skills, put in the hands of Almighty God, not only brought about massive improvements for his people, but also earned him a book with his name on it in the Bible!
Check out some of his other workers:
“Next was Uzziel son of Harhaiah, a goldsmith by trade, who also worked on the wall. Beyond him was Hananiah, a manufacturer of perfumes.”
HA! I love that! A goldsmith and guy making a Jewish Chanel No. 5! What about these other ones:
“Next to him, repairs were made by a group of Levites”
“The next repairs were made by the priests from the surrounding region.”
“…and merchants repaired the wall from that corner to the Sheep Gate.”
Not to mention major players like leaders within the different communities. There is only one group mentioned who refused to work, and they are forever shamed in the Word of God:
“Next were the people from Tekoa, though their leaders refused to work with the construction supervisors.”
YIKES! What was the deal with them? Was this manual labor too low?
Granted, we are not called to volunteer for every job that comes down the pike. Personal boundaries are important, priorities and all that. If you show up to help at a first aid station, you shouldn’t to be asked to do heart surgery. At the same time, God wants us to be available for His work, whatever that may be, and willing to be available at that.
Which means we should at least be asking Him…
I’m still waiting for the phone call to see if painting starts today. (I need to go find my brush.)
Nehemiah 3:8,17,22,32 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.