A HEALTHY VILLAGE: ASSIGNMENT
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb
“When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:12ff
For such a time as this–war in Mindanao. Floods in Luzon. Earthquake in Visayas. Devastation brought about by Yolanda to 2/3 of the country. A perfect storm.
During the medieval ages, the way of protecting all that people cared about was to build walls. Strong walls and fortresses so that everything they needed, loved, and owned were inside the encasement of the wall. The walls held until today but the people didn’t. Like skeletons, medieval structures held fast but the most dear and important—life—did not last. These tiny kingdoms crumbled, either from the outside or from within.
For a while these kingdoms prospered within their walls. Outside it, the common people suffered. Only a few benefited from their lives. Learn a lesson from these walls. When we only care for ourselves, we will eventually wither, shrivel, and die from within. And when we die, our story ends.
For such a time as this, staying inside the wall is not an option. For such a time as this, staying dry and comfortable is not the assignment.
A village cannot be healthy if it only cares for its own occupants. A village must have an assignment. A uniting goal.
But only those who care enough are given an assignment. As A.W. Tozer words it, “God tells the man who cares.” God can call another village and we will have lost the privilege of the assignment.
We were not saved for ourselves.
We are not brought to victory for ourselves. We come from victory so that we can bring others to victory. When we have taken root in God then our roots can become nourishment for others who have deepen their roots.
As a disciple of Sadhu Sundar Singh asked, “What is life’s most difficult task?”
They were traversing the narrow paths through the Himalayas. It was cold and windy and night was nearing. They were all in danger of being frozen to death, when a sharp cry for help was heard. Someone had fallen over a cliff, and broke his leg. Sadhu’s companion, a monk, voted, “Let us hurry on before we, too, perish.” But Sadhu chose to help the man, his conviction: “God has sent me here to help my brother. I cannot abandon him.”
The monk left. Sadhu stayed.
Sadhu and the wounded man walked together in the bitterly cold, snowy, dark night. When their strength had almost given way, they caught a glimpse of the precious lights of the monastery. Safety at last. But before Sadhu could reach it, he stumbled over something. It was a body. Frozen. It was his companion, the monk.
When asked years later by his disciple about the hardest task in life, this was his wise reply: “To have no burden to carry.”
Are we in tune with the burden that God has given to the village we call our own?
For such a time as this, God gives different assignments to different villages. But there is a uniting theme.
You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.
Because where there is difficulty, there God is working to bring that one life to Him. Where there is impossibility, God is doing something that will show how mighty He is. Where there is pain, God is touching lives to come to him.
When we have accomplished the assignment, we will not only fly, but we will bring many others to fly with us. We may even bring whole generations after to fly higher than we ever did.