TEXT: Exodus 17:8-14; 1 Samuel 30:18-25; Matthew 10:41-42
Eric discovered he had an important job to do for the Lord.
Church was over, and Mr. and Mrs. King were ready to leave. “Where’s Eric?” asked Mrs. King. She went back into the sanctuary to look for him. Eric was sitting in the back row looking glum. “What’s wrong, Eric? Aren’t you feeling well?”
“No, it’s not that, Mom.”
“Well, what’s the matter then?”
“Oh, I’m just feeling kind of down,” he replied. His mother looked concerned. “Want to talk about it?” Eric scuffed his foot across the carpet. “Well, it just seems like I’m not important to anyone.”
“What do you mean? You know you’re one of the most important people on earth to Dad and me!”
“Oh, I know, Mom. I mean here at church. Everyone has something to do except me. You’re in the choir and Dad is an usher, even Jane is in the junior orchestra. All I do is pick up hymn books after children’s meeting.”
“That’s important, Eric. Someone has to do it.” Eric got up with a sigh. “You just don’t understand, Mom.”
The next Sunday, Eric brought his best friend to Sunday school. Eric had asked Jaron several times and he had finally said yes. After the singing was finished the children were all surprised to see the pastor walk up to the front.
“I would like to tell you about a very special person here today,” the pastor began. All the children looked around, wondering who the special person might be. “In our midst is a young man who invited several children to Sunday school. Eric King, will you please come forward?”
Eric was amazed. Could the pastor possibly be talking about him? He went to the front and stood by the pastor.
“Eric, by any chance did you bring someone with you today?”
“Yes, sir, my friend Jaron came with me.”
“Do you know how many of your friends you have brought with you to Sunday school in the past year?”
“I guess I’ve never counted.”
“We checked the other day. You have brought fifteen visitors, and many of them now come regularly. Do you realize that what you have been doing is very important? You are one of the reasons why this church and Sunday school are growing. I can’t get your friends to come to Sunday school. I don’t know them. But you do. That’s why only you can bring them.
“Our lesson today is about using our hands for Jesus. In fact, our key verse says, ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might’ (Ecclesiastes 9:10). This means more than just the physical use of our hands. It means whatever we do for God. What you are doing is a good example of working for Jesus, so you see, even though most people will never know it, your efforts are just as important in this church as my work, Eric. God sees what you have been doing for Him.” Eric beamed as he shook the pastor’s hand. Never again would he feel useless to God!
* * * * *
Everyone who loves the Lord is important in God’s work. Even if we don’t sing, play an instrument, or preach, we can still invite people to church and we can pray. In Exodus we find the story of the battle between the Children of Israel and the Amalekites. Moses stood on a hill watching the battle, with the rod of God in his hand. As long as he held up his hand the Israelites won, but if he let it down the Amalekites would prevail. After a time his arms grew weary and he could no longer hold up his hands. Aaron and Hur had gone up the hill with Moses and they fixed a place for him to sit down. They stood on either side of him and held up his hands all day, and the Amalekites were defeated. In this battle the support of Aaron and Hur was needed for victory. If God’s church is to be victorious today it needs the support of people like Eric who may seem unimportant, but who are busy doing what they can for the Lord.