Today's reflection on the Daily Texts:
The God of heaven is the one who will give us success, and we his servants are going to start building. - Nehemiah 2:20
We are God’s fellow workers. - 1 Corinthians 3:9 (NKJV)
Two-year reading texts: Psalm 143:7-12; 2 Kings 12,13; Acts 4:1-12
Nehemiah is directing the rebuilding of the walls and the city of Jerusalem. Paul and Apollos are planting seeds and watering and tending them so that faith grows in Corinth. The kings of Israel and Judah, in a long parade, build their nations according to their own designs, for better or for worse. Peter, having begun with healing one man in Jerusalem, points to Jesus as the cornerstone for all that must be built, and begins to build the church with a public speech in front of the authorities.
God constantly gives us materials to work with. What we're given, and what we're called to build with it, can vary a lot over time! But we're given the gifts of creativity and industriousness. Every day God provides for our daily needs, giving us strength. And every moment God's Spirit directs us, like wind that fills a ship's sails and moves it forward.
I find a lot of grace and freedom and joy in God's way of calling us to make something of what we're given. We're created to walk with God and draw our strength from our closeness with God, as David seeks to do in Psalm 143. We find that there are definitely wrong things to do, as the rulers of the northern kingdom find out when they keep turning to other gods and other powers. But within the way God calls us to walk, there are plenty of right options. Sometimes we get clear, specific assembly instructions from God, but often it seems that God is just giving a general direction, looking for us to add our God-given gifts and ideas and passions to the mix, and delighting in seeing what we create.
Wherever we find ourselves in life, whatever we have on hand to work with, may we find purpose and joy in being servants and fellow workers with God as we make something of it!