1 Thessalonians 2:9a,12 – Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship … encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (NIV)
Do you ever ask yourself, "What will I be remembered for?"
Through the years, John and I felt the call of God to go on short-term mission trips, and in 1987, we went to southern Ireland. I went thinking that I would be marking Bible courses in an office, but instead, we were helping to build a children's Bible camp. The mission had purchased a two-hundred-year-old house. Renovations, with lots of work, were to make living quarters for one hundred children. I did carpentry, making door and window frames alongside the tradesmen.
All was going well until I was installing baseboard in a closet that was finished with drywall. I fitted the baseboard along the back wall and hammered in the nail. Out came a big spray of water onto my face. I yelled "Help!" and one of the men came to see what had happened. I had my finger on the hole in the drywall trying to keep the water down on the floor.
With a laugh, he ran upstairs to shut off the water that was draining from a reservoir in the attic. By the time he got the valve shut off, water was pouring through the electrical fixture on the ceiling in the living room two floors below me. I thanked God that we were in a concrete and stone structure.
There was no mark on the drywall to indicate that the plumbing pipes were hidden in the corner where I was working. A plumber fixed the leak. I apologized profusely, and we continued doing the renovations. When we were able to paint, it was an absolute thrill, because it meant that the work was complete.
Even today when I think of Ireland, I can feel that spray of cold water on my face and hear that worker laugh at my calamity.
Those tradesmen most likely remember me as the lady who drove the nail into the plumbing, causing a big leak. None of the children will ever know or remember me as one who helped to build it, but God knows. It was wonderful to share in the development of that children's Bible camp. I continue to pray that campers will hear the gospel, put their trust in Christ, and be encouraged to live for Jesus.
Are we people who will be remembered for our faith in Christ, living by Scripture, encouraging fellow believers, living and speaking the gospel? Take heart! People tend to forget, but God remembers our labour for His kingdom.
Prayer: Gracious God, help us not to give up when something goes wrong, but to keep on always trying to do Your will. Encourage our hearts as we encourage each other. Thank You for Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee" (Lyrics)