A Willing Helper
TEXT: 1 Kings 19:19-21; Matthew 10:37-42
Isaac’s conversation with Uncle Jack helped him realize the joy in working for the Lord.
“Isaac, can you stay awhile and help me put the chairs away?” asked Uncle Jack. This had been the youth group’s activity night, and he was responsible for cleaning up the church, and making sure that everything was ready for the services the next day.
“Well, I wouldn’t mind helping out, but Troy wants me to be ready to go home in five minutes,” Isaac stated, “. . . and I have quite a bit of homework waiting for me.”
“This won’t take too long,” Uncle Jack assured him. “I can take you home when we get done here. Your brother won’t mind.”
Soon Isaac and Uncle Jack were folding chairs and straightening up the church basement. It really didn’t take long, and Isaac was glad he had stayed to help his uncle.
“This is better than hurrying home to do homework,” he commented with a grin as he pulled out the box of song books. “I really wasn’t too anxious to drag out my math book anyway.”
Uncle Jack grinned. “Well the math will be waiting for you, I’m sure. Some things we have to do. But working for the Lord is an opportunity, not a chore.” He came over to give Isaac a hand with the box. “Looking at that box of song books, my mind goes back many, many years to when I was a boy—a lot younger than you are. I always loved the Lord, and hoped that someday I could do something for Him. Well, one day the opportunity came. I was at an old-fashioned camp meeting and was asked—you guessed it—to pick up the songs books!
“It was really hot that summer, and there was sawdust on the floor of the big tent, and plain old dirt under the sawdust. You can imagine that with so many people and services, along with the hot weather, things were bound to get dusty. So, each afternoon, hoses were brought in and the sawdust was sprinkled down. You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with song books. Stop and think a bit—they had to be taken out of the way so that they wouldn’t get wet! And that’s how I got my start working for the Lord. Now you’re helping by doing your part for the Lord.
Hmmmm . . . Isaac thought a moment. That’s right. Uncle Jack is the one who asked me to do the work, but this is the Lord’s house—I’m doing it for Him. “Uncle Jack, I guess doing work like this is really for the Lord, isn’t is?” Isaac asked. “Someone has to do it—keep the church clean.”
“Yes, I think there’s more to working for the Lord than just what we see at church. The preacher preaches, singers sing, the organ and piano players do their part—but they’re not just doing it because people come to church and want to hear something. They are doing it for the Lord,” Uncle Jack told him. “Sure, if I sing a song, I want it to sound pleasing, but the main point is that I’m doing something for the Lord because I want to.”
“No one is here to watch us work, and we don’t need anyone to watch us because God knows we are doing it. That makes me feel good!” Isaac said, smiling. The two of them put on their jackets and went to turn out the lights and make sure everything was locked up. “I guess I’d better go home and do homework! If only that was as exciting as working for the Lord.”
“When I was in school, I didn’t especially like homework either,” Uncle Jack told him. “But I’ve found that whatever I do, if I do it as if it is for the Lord, it isn’t half as hard. Even doing homework! Even picking up song books.”
“I guess I’d better remember that.” Isaac grinned at his uncle and continued, “With that attitude, I know many things that will be easier to do. It’s really great to know I am doing things for the Lord.”