Saturday, October 10, 2020
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Listen while you read: "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee"1 (Lyrics)

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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Ruth Rowe <>
Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Ruth.

    That was a good devotional. Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you, Ruth, for encouraging us to keep on working for the Lord.

    I have been reading these devotionals for many years. Yours is one of my favorites.

    Thank you, Ruth, for sharing this learning experience of service with us. God must smile at incidents such as this. Blessings.

    Thanks for a great story and question, Ruth. Many facets to answering your timely and useful inquiry. I am beginning to work on it, thanks to you.

    Thanks, Ruth, for reminding us to keep on even if it is difficult. Sometimes we may think our work is futile but if we help even one person, God’s work is worth it. You helped many! God bless and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Hi Ruth,
    What an inspiring devotional and so encouraging to keep doing God’s work, for He is faithful and always remembers.

    Do everything as unto the Lord. I remind myself of this often, to remind myself that God knows even when others don’t and that’s what really counts.
    A good word today Ruth.

    Thanks for sharing your story.
    It seems in our house if my wife cannot fix something, we hire it done.
    She prides herself in having her own TOOL BOX.

    Dear Ruth,
    You nailed it! A good laugh about a calamity is good for the soul and motivates us to pick ourselves up and get back to work. All for His honor and glory. Thank you for sharing and encouragement.

    Hello Ruth! I enjoyed your story. I too went on mission trips to build and clean etc. in Nicaragua and Ukraine. I was thinking of you when listening to CBC this morning re autumn colours and someone sent in their best pick was the view from the tower in Elliott Lake! Perhaps you have been there! Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

    Good morning Ruth,
    What an encouraging devotional to keep us doing God’s work because he knows our heart. I tell my granddaughter the things you remember are when something goes wrong like a rained-out picnic or forgetting something you need. For some reason they spark the brain. That cold water sparked your memory of helping create the Bible camp more vividly. Thank you for sharing your experience and offering us all encouragement. May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with something that will spark a good memory.

    Good morning Ruth,
    A very good devotional this morning, how will we be remembered indeed. Hopefully as good Christian people. The water tank in the attic brought back memories, we had one of them in our house. At one time it was overflowing, and we did not know where the water came from. I had never heard of a water tank in the attic, it must be a British thing.
    Thank you for writing and we wish you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving.

    Amen John.
    Thanks for sharing.

    When something goes wrong after getting upset, I try to think of it as one of “God’s detours.”
    We’ll get there in the end.
    What a story!
    Thanks for sharing it!
    Brought back memories of a tour which included that part of Ireland.

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