June 13, 2016

Whatever Your Hand Finds to Do

Even when converts are few or the church is small, the work of ministry must be taken up. In such situations, my specialized skills are not as valuable as my willingness to do whatever needs to be done. I have to roll up my sleeves, and answer God's call with the strength He gives.

My experience in a small church taught me that a journalism degree has little use when I am tasked with scrubbing toilets. Ditto housing and feeding the conference speaker. If a nursery scheduler was needed, it was up to me. When a VBS refreshment organizer was lacking, I did it.

I am not a super woman. In fact, I admit to my share of grumbling about the sacrifice required in my role as a pastor's wife. I do many things in my own strength and get overwhelmed. These attitudes do not automatically go away when the church gets bigger, either. But, I do pray that God will give me the desire to serve Him without thinking mundane tasks are beneath me.

Isn't it amazing that God uses us, as flawed humans, to build His kingdom? He knows our every weakness and yet loves us.

As I read Nehemiah recently, I saw a man who was motivated to serve God in an area outside of his skill set. When Nehemiah heard that the Jews were in trouble and that the walls and gates of Jerusalem were in ruin and in need of repair, he cried, prayed and repented. Then, this cupbearer-turned-wall builder set about to do God's will. (Nehemiah 1)

Nehemiah was not the only one who was willing to minister where his hand found something to do. When he told the Jews, the priests, the nobles and the officials about his desire to serve, they said, "Let us rise up and build." They strengthened their hands for the good work. (Neh. 2:18) 

Chapter 3 gives examples of the types of people who did the hard work of rebuilding, some of it with a weapon in one hand and a tool in the other because of the fierce opposition to God's plan.
...the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate...goldsmiths repaired...one of the perfumers repaired...the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem repaired, he and his daughters...the Levites repaired...the merchants repaired. In the midst of all this obedience are some sobering words, "...the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord."

Lord, please give me the willingness to obey you, even when you ask me to serve in new ways that I haven't been trained for. Forgive me when I think that a job you give me is beneath me.


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