March 11, 2013

What's Your Role: Can I Help You?

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Throughout this season of Lent, we will be posting a devotional series written for us by Johan Plug - a missionary currently serving in Benin.  

Johan and Marijke Plug are serving the Eglise Reformee Confessante au Benin (ERCB) as advisory pastor and pastor's wife/social worker. They are being sent out by an organization called De Verre Naasten as well as the Reformed churches in the Netherlands.

He will exploring what it means for us to find our God-intended, authentic roles in His Kingdom plan.

Sharing the burden, that was what Exaucé must have had in mind. Exaucé is one of the many Beninese children we know who are growing up with an absentee father. But Exaucé has Joseph, our watchman and gardener. And Joseph has enough fatherhood in him to be there for Exaucé as well as for his own family.

Can I help you, Joseph? The kind of offer little boys have been making since time immemorial. And we can all appreciate the sense of importance and worth that comes when the answer is Yes. Of course you can! We really need to plant these bissap seeds today! And if you help me, that will definitely make a difference!

I thought of 1 Corinthians 3.9 when I saw Exaucé helping Joseph today. For we are God´s fellow-workers,  Paul writes, in a mission context. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow… And I remembered the many times my little boys helped me long ago: building the house, raking the lawn, carrying in the firewood. Did I need their help? Did their well-meant efforts really help the project along? Don’t tell my boys, but you know the answer to that. And still: I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Helping Daddy isn’t about achieving impressive results. It’s about growing a relationship.

I’m pretty sure it’s the same with our being God’s fellow-workers in missions. Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God… And yet, it seems, God wouldn’t miss it for the world. Because He has enough fatherhood in him to let our efforts really make a difference!


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