A few months ago, we visited an estate in North Carolina that opened to the public in the 1930s. The huge house sits on several acres with many out buildings, including a winery, stables (transformed into a restaurant), green houses and beautiful gardens. While we noticed workers, we were astonished at the size of the staff that maintain this lovely spot, everything from plumbers to tour guides, cooks to window washers. Some hold places of prominence before the touring public. Others work in the background, the only evidence of them is seen in the results of their labors.
So it is in the kingdom of God. Our Lord and Master employs some in prominence, people like Billy Graham who is known in most of the world, or others whose faces appear on television or before large congregations or conference crowds.
But on the roster of those who serve the King are people who wash dishes after the church supper, or stack chairs, or hand out bulletins, or visit the sick, or repair torn hymnals. Few notice their work or even know their names. In an Old Testament list of the descendents of Judah, a few are also unnamed.
These were the potters who were inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah (literally “plants and hedges”). They lived there in the king’s service. (1 Chronicles 4:23)
As the devotional writer says, we can live and work for our King anywhere and everywhere. For some, this could be an unlikely or unfavorable place, maybe in the country where not much is seen of the “goings” of the King or in the inner city where “thank you” might be rarely heard.
My King could have me serving Him among hedges and hindrances, my hands full of pottery for my daily task, but this is not important. The reality is that no matter what I am doing or where I do it, the King who placed me there dwells with me there. If plants and hedges are not right for me, or if they hinder me in any way, He would remove them. Sometimes that which blocks my work from view is a protection.
What really matters is that it is HIS work, and each of His workers are to respect the others, knowing that what we do is for Him. Even the smallest task will advance the kingdom, and all will be rewarded for our service. No matter what He gives me to do, I’m to do it with joy and gratitude.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23–24)
Lord God, as I look at my to-do list for today, I can hope or imagine how You might use some of it in Your kingdom. However, whether I can see (or ever will see) anything eternal as a result of my service, I commit today’s work to You, thankful for my place in Your kingdom and glad that I can serve You.