Proverbs 3: 5-7, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”
A place of business in a neighboring town was expanding and a part of the addition to the back of the building was to be concrete blocks. I was hired to lay about 1,400, 8-inch blocks, to be the walls to that addition.
The walls were up about 10 feet and I was working on scaffolds. We stacked the 2” x 12” walk boards, two thick, on the metal scaffold frame. My helper and I then loaded the boards with a 54-inch concrete door lintel, and the mortar board. I climbed up and stepped on the boards to begin working and the boards broke.
In about one millionth of a second, I was on the ground with all that material around me. The lintel hit my right leg at a glancing blow and went to the ground ahead of me. Fortunately, I survived the action of carelessness (alias: accident) with no broken bones or internal injuries. The next day, I was bruised from my hip to my knee and was extremely sore. Along with a few minor cuts, I considered myself fortunate.
I learned several very valuable lessons that day. The primary lesson was to not overload a scaffold board. But, we do overload. Sometimes, we, as Christians, can overload someone or allow ourselves to be overloaded in doing what we think should be done.
A favorite saying around churches and community organizations is, “If you want it done, find a busy person to ask.” The assumption that the busy one will work to his/her own detriment is likely true, but a burnout possibility is very high.
God certainly has a way of balancing people. He balanced the perfect orbit of the planets around the sun and the moon around the Earth. Why would we not expect Him to be able to provide churches with people that have the abilities and skills required to serve His church?
People with those varying abilities keep anyone from being loaded too heavily within the church and God wants all to participate (Ephesians 2: 10).
Many Christian denominations teach Ephesians 2: 8-9 as being a required belief method for salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Paul went on to write in Ephesians 2: 10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” This is not saying we are saved by works, but we are saved and created to work for HIM (“Unto good works”). Verses eight and 10 are not contradictory, but to some may appear that way. Missions and church works are acts of obedience and respect for our Lord.
What many Christians refer to as the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 19-20 and Acts 1: 8) tells us to take action/work for our Lord Jesus, but we do not gain eternity for those actions. We have eternal salvation by what we believe (John 3: 16).
Another valuable lesson I learned from the broken scaffold boards was pain hurts. Yes, I meant to say that! The bruise and the soreness took several weeks to heal. Of course, wife Margie put me on a regimen of vitamins; especially C. Overloading often hurts us and those around us, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
A third lesson I gleaned was “Thank God for the little things, too.” One of the “little things,” I was thankful that the lintel did not hit my leg at a right angle, but only glanced off. It weighed over 280 pounds and it could have hit my leg, shattering the femur and possibly my hip.
While it may seem small at the time, the ripple effect of the small things may be extraordinary. “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” John Wooden. Can these thoughts be applied to church?
That was probably not my first lesson in how fast accidents happen, but it may have been the first that could have been really serious. Life-changing occurrences happen really fast. The Bible teaches at the initial point of belief, a person is immediately filled with the Holy Spirit. That is an instantaneous change!
Repentance in the life of a born-again believer is a good change. A shattered leg bone could have crippled me for life. My lifestyle for the next 40 years would have been changed in the blink of an eye. I feel confident in saying that God was taking care of me that day.
Born-again is not an overstatement; it is truth and fact. Only those that have experienced it can fully understand. Jesus does make a difference, a life-changing difference.
Acts 3: 19, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” If you did not read this verse carefully, go back and absorb it, consume it and digest it. That verse is priceless and has implications far beyond the surface!
Lesson No. 4 concerned “trust.” Who or what can we really trust?
I should have inspected those walk boards before we loaded them. My fault, my negligence, I admit it. I would never have done such a thing, even at my young age, if someone else was to be working on them. Maybe I was still in that mind-set of “it can’t happen to me.” It was quickly learned, “Yes, it can happen to me!”
Trust is defined as “a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something.” That certainly covers a lot of territory! If we think of the physical objects we have trust in every day of our lives, the list is endless. Trust requires faith in something or someone. When trust ends, apathy begins.
Faith plays a major role in trust. Without faith, there would be no trust. Can we place our faith and trust in the Holy Bible and its promise to us of an eternal perspective? About one-third of the world’s people are Christian. That means two-thirds of the world’s people place no credibility in the Bible. Christians have learned through Bible study, God’s word is always true and accurate.
I contend and will continue to teach and preach the Bible proves itself from within itself. Also, I’m convinced, the people that claim the Bible is a book of fantasy, lies and folklore have never studied it and witnessed the absolute irrefutable proof of its reliability.
The truth verified by other writers of the time, the archeological evidence, the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the science in the Bible and the prophecy actually happening before our eyes offer amounts of proof not found in anything else on Earth. No other religious writing has ever had the reliability of the Bible.
The Bible teaches eternal life is by a faith-based belief that Christ Jesus was crucified for the remission of sin and resurrected. We can have faith in this statement.
Faith in the walk boards on the scaffolding was misplaced, but our faith in God is solid as a rock.
Van Yandell is a retired Industrial Arts teacher, an ordained gospel evangelist and missionary, from Fredonia. Part of the Bible Connections series.
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