When our boys were young, we purchased a 10-foot pop-up trailer and
towed it through most of Canada. It proved to be an inexpensive, fun way
to travel, and some of our fondest vacation memories are of camping in
the Maritimes, traipsing across the Canadian prairies--and freezing in
the Canadian Rockies!
There was actually a fair amount of set-up and take-down required for the little trailer, and at each stop, we each had our assigned responsibilities. The boys and I would level the trailer while Rob hooked up the water and electricity, then we would all raise the roof and pull out the beds. From there, my responsibilities were inside the trailer, while the boys and their dad finished setting up the outside camp.
I read a similar story in the Bible this morning. Now don't go searching your concordances for the words pop-up trailer" because they aren't there. Instead, come with me to the book of Ezra. Here we see the priest, Ezra, preparing for a long trip, one that will bring him home, to Jerusalem (See Ezra 7). The Babylonian captivity is over (See Ezra 1), and the temple has been rebuilt (See Ezra 6:13-18). We see Ezra receiving support from the Persian King (See Ezra 7:6). We see the king donating articles for the temple in Jerusalem and placing them in Ezra's care (See Ezra 7:6-18). We see Ezra gathering volunteers to come to Jerusalem to act as attendants for the house of God (See Ezra 9:17). We see the group fasting and praying for God's protection on the trip (See Ezra 8:21-23). Finally, part of the temple treasure is assigned to each of the priests and Levites, and they are given the responsibility of ensuring that their allocated treasure arrives safely in Jerusalem.
This reminds me of yet another voyage: The trip we are all making through life. Our destination is Heaven, and we are urged to make this trip with endurance: "and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..." (Hebrews 12:1). Just like each member of my family, as well as each member of Ezra's traveling group, were given responsibilities, we have also all have been given responsibilities for the journey through life. No, God isn't asking us to set up a pop-up trailer, and He likely isn't asking us to carry temple-treasures to Jerusalem. Rather, the responsibilities we've been given are two-fold. We are to love another: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34); and we are to share the gospel: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matt 28:19-20). If you think about it, however, it's really all one and the same command. If we truly love the unsaved of this world, we will share the gospel with them.
It is true that while setting up our pop-up trailer, one member of my family would occasionally forget to do part of their assigned job. You can believe me when I say this created stress for the rest of us, for we would have to pick up the slack. Imagine what would have happened if one of Ezra's group had shirked his duties. It would have put undue pressure on others who were already struggling to fulfill their own obligations. Now imagine what trouble it causes when we shirk our responsibilities to God's work...
Let's not shirk your God-given responsibilities. Let's not burden someone else with what God has called us to do. Let's carry our own part of the load; for in the end, this will result in millions, perhaps even billions, of people coming to know the Lord.
Think about it!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — "Aboard God's Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.