The recent rains have caused me to recall the “Parable of the Nail,” which is a favorite of mine. As the story goes, they built a new church building and people came from far and wide to see it. They admired its beauty. Up on the roof, a little nail heard the people praising everything about the lovely structure, except the nail. No one even knew he was there, and he became angry and envious.
If I am that insignificant, nobody will miss me if I quit. So the nail released its hold, slid down the roof and fell into the mud. That night it began to rain and rain. Soon, the shingle that had no nail blew away, and the roof began to leak. The water streaked the walls and the beautiful murals. The plaster began to fall, the carpet was stained and the pulpit Bible was ruined by the water. All this because a little nail decided to quit.
But what of the nail? While holding the shingle, it was obscured, but it was useful. Buried in the mud it was just as obscure, but now it was useless and would soon be eaten up with rust.
Usefulness has a lot to do with faithfulness in the Kingdom of God. The five prepared virgins (Matt. 25:1ff.) with their lamps became useful to the wedding party primarily because they were faithful. There is a very special reward and joy for the faithful. Faithfulness goes far beyond regular attendance at your church. Are you faithful in your relationships, in keeping your commitments and in keeping you word? In other words, can you be depended upon by others in all situations — the good and the bad? That, my friend, is faithfulness. Let’s strengthen one another, continue to love, watch and pray, and not grow weary in well-doing ...
Love suffers long for an opportunity to do good; resentment suffers long and ne’er escapes the wounds of its own making.
— Dirk Scates is senior minister at Tonganoxie Christian Church.