So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. For in just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Hebrews 10: 35-39
One of my least favorite scriptures in the Word is, “In this world, you will have trouble.” (John 16:33). This scripture is one in which I have seen fulfilled in my life. For instance, I remember a time not too long ago when…….
It was raining and cold. I was out of work. My neighbor hired me to help him replace his roof. After we finished the roofing job, he hired me for clean up. I was picking up shingles and freezing to death in the rain and cold. My neighbor also bred dogs for a living. Not only were there thousands of pieces to pick up, but they were covered with dog poop. My legs were killing me, my back was killing me. It was at that time that I looked up to heaven and asked the Lord, “God, is there anything else I could be doing for you in the Kingdom of God right now?” How many of you know what I’m talking about?
I’ll never forget His response back to me. He said, “Son, I have you right where I want you.”
You see, I didn’t realize that some of God’s greatest works are done in obscurity and are covered with poop. It is in such places, that God develops the character of Jesus within us. We tell Him, “Lord, I’ll do anything you ask.” Then, He sends us outside to a yard covered with thousands of tiny shingle pieces covered with you know what in the rain and cold, and we act surprised! We say, “When I said anything, I didn’t mean this!”
It’s in these type of places that everything is flushed to the surface that is not God. It is in these places that we begin to smell something bad, and it’s not what we’re picking up. It’s the flesh that we see. It’s dependence on things other than Jesus that we smell. And for those of you who dare to call yourself by His name, you will spend your time in the yard with the shingles and the poop.
Doing “shingle time” may not seem to be rewarding in this life, but it is time well spent in the Kingdom of God.
What is God doing when you’re picking up shingles in the rain?
1.Teaching you that you don’t exist on anything other than God.
Picking up shingles usually is a time of decreased blessings. It is a time of decreased pride. It is time when ego is dismantled. It is also a time when there is less on the table. But, the Word of God tells us what is happening in Deuteronomy 8:2. It is God causing the hunger and doing the humbling so that you understand that He is your bread of life.
- Teaching you to walk by faith and not by sight.
You can’t go only where your five senses lead you and be able to walk with God. Isaiah 55:8 states, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. If His ways are not ours, nor our thoughts His, then we can never fulfill His will until we submit to His leading. He will purposefully lead us into situations that we have no answer for so that He can reveal Himself as glorious. If we insist on knowing everything up front before we follow, we will never walk in His way.
- Teaching you to persevere.
Many people give up when a strong wind blows against them especially in today’s society where ease is highly valued. There’s an old saying that goes, “Nothing good ever comes easy.” It’s really true. The word persevere in the original Greek is hupomeno which means: to not flee, to endure bravely, to hold up under misfortune and trial. Did you notice that word misfortune? That means bad things. Perseverance is the womb from which character receives its life.
- Storing up promises just for you.
God’s does not offer us something and then when we finish says, “Oh, sorry, you can’t have that.” The promises in Him are always “Yes”. Nothing will take them away. Your lot is secure and in a pleasant and delightful place Psalm 16:5-6. The only thing we have to do is speak the “Amen” to the promise. We do that by our obedience and trust in Jesus.
Are you picking up poop covered shingles in the rain? Keep on keeping on. Remember the exhortation of Hebrews 6:12, “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”