Slave Labour

Thursday, September 11, 2014
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Listen while you read: "Wonderful Words Of Life"1 (Lyrics)

Since 1961, our family has owned waterfront property up the coast of British Columbia, Canada. Most mornings during our holidays, we could be found sitting on the patio with coffee cups in our hands, gazing up the beautiful inlet.

However, as beautiful as it is, there is a big problem that we have been pondering and praying about for over a year. Our property is so steep that our septic contractor could not find machinery capable of bringing down the 43-percent-grade driveway all the sand and gravel necessary to construct a septic field.

Fortunately, one of my Tim Hortons® coffee buddies is also a septic field contractor, and he volunteered to look at the driveway when he went up for a golf tournament one weekend. He suggested that we could bring the sand down in my brother-in-law's four-wheel-drive half-ton truck. During the next two weeks, we were to have ten or eleven adults on site at any one time, so the family got on board with the idea.

Our contractor co-operated fully, and delivered loads of sand when we needed them. Each load weighed 8,000 kilograms – 8 metric tonnes, or 17,600 pounds. We really wondered what we had gotten ourselves in for when we discovered that there were going to be 13 truckloads!

A set of 31 five-gallon pails fit perfectly in our truck, and the pails handled best when they were half full, about 36 pounds. A full half-ton truckload of sand was over 1,100 pounds, or half a metric tonne. With such a large crew, it took only a couple of minutes for one group at the top of the hill to fill one set of pails, while another group was emptying the other set at the bottom. A return trip took exactly five minutes, so we were able to move a tonne of sand in ten minutes. Working for three hours in the cool of the morning over seven days, we did 196 trips, with 6,076 half-bucketfuls: 98 tonnes in 21 hours. It was amazing to see a full 8-tonne truckload disappear in an hour and a half. The sand filled a parking lot that normally holds five cars. What an answer to prayer!

Although I did my share of the work, I was in charge of the project, so I become known as the slave driver! One morning before work, they asked me to read Exodus chapter 5, where Moses and Aaron asked Pharaoh to let the Israelite slaves go, and Pharaoh responded by accusing them of being lazy, and by making the slaves find their own straw, while requiring them to make the same quota of bricks as before.

During the project, it was clear that each of us had certain limitations, such as back or shoulder problems. Some were weak, while others were strong. But there were enough different jobs that everyone had a task appropriate for their ability. It reminded me of the body of Christ, the church, which God supplies with members having different spiritual gifts so that the jobs that He wants done are accomplished.

1 Corinthians 12:18,22-23a – God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. (NIV)

Just think what the church could accomplish for God if we could all get along, and all the members, not just some, pitched in to carry their weight according to the spiritual gifts that God has given them!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your wisdom in giving spiritual gifts to Your people in order to accomplish exactly what You want done in every corner of Your vineyard. We pray for a greater spirit of co-operation and commitment to Your goals, both within each congregation, and between denominations. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Robin Ross <>
Mission, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good job Robin!

    Great reminder Robin.

    Amazing story and appropriate application of Divine revelation. Thank you Robin.

    Really nice job putting it altogether into a devotional.
    Proud of you!

    Great article, Slave Driver,

    Wow, quite a saga!! But as you well know — with God “all things are popssible”. I hope you have many years of trouble free “flushing”.

    Dear Robin,
    A great big devotional about a great big job, with a great application!
    Keep trucking!

    Robin, now I know what all the sand was about. Thank you for sharing this challenge with us. FAITH CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS. Blessings to you and your whole family.
    If He can bring you to it, He will bring you through it.

    Thanks for writing to us, Robin.
    Thanks for everything you do for us.
    Be encouraged in your well-doing.
    Think of all the good your septic bed will do at your recreation property.

    Well done Robin! I enjoyed hearing about your family experience. It was a great illustration to encourage the body of Christ to work together in harmony for the sake of the gospel.
    Keep writing!

    Great devotion. We need to all hear this often.
    I can just see you all working at this job together.
    Everyday I so much look forward to listening.
    Thanks for your part in making this happen.

    You hit the nail on the head Robin,
    We all have diversities of gifts, however, in a few of my experiences, many churches have not been able to get along, causing disruption, even splits in the congregations, because the parts of the body do not work together as one. I enjoyed the experience you shared to prove your point.
    May God continue to bless your ministry.

    Hi Robin;
    Amen to your prayer! I truly believe that His work of spirit-filled co-operation between denominations is at hand.

    Thanks for your heroic efforts. What else should be done to prevent raw sewage from going into the ocean and into our rivers? As stewards of the world God created what can and should ordinary people do and what should we ask our government s to do?


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