His Work

photo by Dan Fuller

I sat the other day watching clouds drift above lofty mountain peaks. Great shadows created an ever changing picture show against the wooded slopes and the cultivated valleys. Chencha right now is a patch work of green. Each farmer tends his own small plot according to his own habits and presumptions. The result is masterpiece of green. I saw a plot of the almost iridescent green of barley seedlings not yet six inches high. Beside it the dark verdant green of knee high wheat sways in the breeze. A little further on is a subtle green covered in a dusky golden haze as heads of barley begin to mature.

One field in particular happened to catch my eye as I soaked in the scenery and sunshine. I was a bit annoyed that my attention had been pulled from the grand view to the small ordinary scene. It must have been movement that caught my attention. On the far side of one particular field I saw a man walking somewhat deliberately. I could tell immediately that he was a farmer. He was of small stature, but with a rugged look and obvious strength in his shoulders. I noticed, after every ten steps or so, that he would give a quick, almost imperceptible glance over his shoulder. There hidden by the knee high grain a small dark object bobbed along behind him.

Finally, as the farmer turned the corner on the side of the field facing me I saw the items he sought. Several stout logs lay along the side of the field where a tree had recently been felled. As he came to beside the logs, the bobbing object came into view. It was a small boy of maybe four or five years old (it’s hard to say since children here tend to run a bit small compared to ours). Upon rounding the turn he hurried to where the farmer, who I now considered to be the boy’s father, stood. There were a few words and some gesturing between the two, and even though I was out of ear shot and they spoke a language I don’t know, I knew the context of this short conversation, having had nephews and my own son utter the excited phrase, “Can I help, can I help?”

Before the father could so much as bend a knee the boy, in the speed and enthusiasm of youth, was down clutching the cumbersome load and straining with all his might to lift it. The log didn’t so much as quiver. Then, as I perceived a slight smile and a chuckle from him, the father hoisted the log, boy still attached, onto his strong shoulder, turned and headed back the way he came. The boy clung to the log, facing his father, dangling in the air and giggling as he swayed to the rhythm of his father’s pace.

Let’s never think ourselves so important to believe that God, our Father, actually “needs” us to help Him with His work.

Does He desire for us to obediently follow Him wherever His work may be? Yes.
Does it warm His heart when we eagerly ask to take part in His work? Surely.
Does it bring Him great joy to find us trying with all our might to accomplish a task with Him, despite obviously being far too feeble?
I believe so.

However, as I reflect on this work that I am doing “with” my Father I find that it is my Father who is carrying the load and me with it. I find, that rather than helping him accomplish his work, I am as much a part of his work as anything else.

“Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” John 15:4-5

“We should never lose sight of the higher aspect of our work – that of obedience to God, of bringing glory to His Name, of gladdening the heart of our God and Father by living and serving as His beloved children.”                             J. Hudson Taylor

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