"I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Nehemiah 6:3 NIV
Wednesday night prayer meeting. One guy said, “I want us to pray for Grace’s book, too.” I looked up, surprised and touched by this one who reminded us of my last week’s prayer request. There are no other writers there, no sense of being understood, no assurance that anyone had taken my request seriously—until now.
Our local congregation had split, and there were fewer workers to go around. I was scribbling away on a steno pad, half an ear on the conversation swirling around me. My brother’s emphatic voice brought me back. “Can’t nobody sit back doing nothing. Everybody’s got to pitch in and do whatever it takes.” I looked up to see him staring at me.
“You could go down and teach the little kids.”
“I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”
“You’re just sitting there. The class is just one hour a week.”
No. It’s hours of prep time and a tremendous energy drain. And, the kids need the best person for the job—which I’m not.
I didn’t quote Jesus’ words to Peter, but the thought was there.
I put pen to paper to finish my sentence, then looked back at him. “One of Satan’s favorite weapons is to say, ‘Look here! See this good work you could be doing, and this one, and this one. Think of the glory you could bring to God by doing all these.’
“He knows if he gets us too busy, too distracted, if we try to do every good work people point out to us, we won’t be effective. That if we try to do those we aren’t appointed and gifted to do, those we’re “serving” won’t get the best. And he knows what we are given to do won’t get done at all.”
My brother shrugged and looked away. End of conversation.
Avi, writing is tough enough and lonely enough as it is, without the finger-pointing discouragers. Just because people can’t see what we’re doing, that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing what You’ve given us to do. Help us to be patient with each other, and to leave the judgment to You. In Your holy name, Amen.