Several years ago my life long friend had hit his groove and found a great job for the first time in his life. It was right before the housing market crashed which caused the construction business to come to a screeching halt. But, before this occurred he had a massive accident on the job. He was installing the walls on the second floor of a new home. He had already seen the plans and knew that this would be the babyís room. As such, he wanted to do a great job on this room to be sure that the room was safe for the baby that would grow up in this room. Shortly after getting his tools into the designated area for this room the floor gave way. He, the wall, the tools, and the building supplies in that area all came tumbling down. In the process he shattered his ankle. He would miss more than a year of work as he had multiple surgeries to repaired the damaged ankle. (My friend, who had a deadly jump shot, was told that he may never be able to play basketball or any other sport again. To this day, he still walks with a limp. What caused the floor to fall? The foreman was in danger of going over budget so he started making cuts. Instead of using the length of nails that the design called for he was using nails that were 3 inches too short. They could not support the weight and was destined to fall. The fasteners were just not good enough to support the structure. While there may be some places to save money (using a cheaper paint for instance) you should never underestimate the value of a good fastener.
Just as the nails were undervalued by that foreman, I think that there are times that the service of support can be undervalued in a church. I do not think that it is a matter of us not thinking that a servant in the church is not helpful. It is not that we think that people helping us in an hour of need is not helpful or encouraging. But rather, we often fail to realize how valuable we can be as fasteners in the Lordís church and likewise how much there might be others here in the church that need someone to provide some support to them.
Here in Iowa I think that it is even more important that we be a good support system for one another. First of all there are not a lot of Christians living here in Iowa. Some of you, who group up here know this perhaps better than those of us who are transplants to this fine state. Because there are not a lot of Christians and there are not a lot of churches we tend to be rather spread out. Think about this for a moment. Here at this church we have families that drive in from the Waterloo area, Deep River, Ankeny, Newton, and Reasnor (my apologies to any cities I missed). This is quite a large area that we cover. For some of our members to travel from their home to anotherís can be as much as a 2 hour drive. This creates an ďislandĒ feel for our Christian walk. Some of our members are literally they only Christians in their town. They need our support. They need to realize that they are not alone. They need to realize that we are indeed there for them.
Speaking of transplants, many of our number are not originally from Iowa and have little to know extended families to lean upon. With holidays rolling around many of us will be visiting with our parents, our children, and having wonderful feasts as we gather again with our families. Our transplants are not always afforded that same opportunity. Let us not forget to encourage them during this time. Along the same lines, the holidays are not the only days that these members should get support from the local church. Without moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas to help out things can get very overwhelming for these saints. Donít forget to lend them a hand to help lift them up.
And finally, we need to remember how one random act of kindness can change the world. When I was in college I knew of a brother in Christ who was so overwhelmed with the struggles in his life he chose to end his life. He picked up a knife and just as he was about to slit his wrist, someone opened the door to his room. This person spent the next two hours just talking with the discouraged saint. The conversation itself was not memorable. The brother that burst in had no idea what was going on, so the conversation was not about why he shouldnít do it, and why life is worth living. He just came in to say hi because they hadnít had a chance to talk in a while. The discouraged saint was not as discouraged when the conversation was over. That night, rather than ending his life he spent it in prayer with God seeking help and thanking God for sending him a friend in his hour of need. It was not the last time that saint would be discouraged, but it was the last time he felt all was lost and that taking his life was a good idea. Brethren, if we donít take the time to get involved you never know where a personís faith might sit. Be a good support system, get involved, offer support. -WTK
Grinnell church of Christ
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The Importance of a Good Fastener
Volume 4 Issue 49