Next to them, the men of Tekoa repaired another section, from the great projecting tower to the wall of Ophel.
I learned from a very special mentor back in college that a leader is most successful when the work continues even without him. So last month, before I left for my sister’s graduation in Manila, I made sure I delegated the children’s ministry tasks to competent people. Receiving no calls that weekend, I was confident all went well as prayed for. It did. Except for that detail that the teacher assigned for the evening service had a surprise guest and another willingly took her place to attend to the kids. The latter had all the reasons not to do it: she already taught that morning, she also needed to attend the service, she had a full day already, and she still had wife-y responsibilities when she gets home. But she didn’t use all those valid excuses to avoid working extra. She didn’t even complained after or brag about her sacrifices. She just did it with her whole heart - - and with a right heart.
Chapter 3 of Nehemiah was a lengthy read, especially because it’s an account of hard-to-pronounce names and i-have-no-idea-where locations. The long and short of it was these remnants were called by God through Nehemiah’s leadership to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls. From priests to goldsmiths, rulers to commoners, fathers, sons, even daughters, all worked as one to complete the task. Aside from Baruch who zealously repaired a section, my reading highlighted the men of Tekoa too. The verse above was the second mention of their names, meaning, this was already an extra work for them. Earlier in verse 5, they were next to Zadok working near the Fish Gate and then we read these words: ‘though their leaders refused to work with the construction supervisors’. But despite the lack of expected help, these men of Tokea were able to finish their double-load, even faster than others, and willingly walked some more extra miles to help where it was needed.
We all wished to be regarded as good Samaritans. We are compassionate people and if really needed, will extend help to those hurting. But of course, everyone understands that sometimes we also have family issues, and have tight budgets, and have very important meetings, and can’t be Superman all the time. Better yet, isn’t ‘I’ll pray for you’ godly enough? Why extend another hand? Why walk an extra mile? But can you imagine God clicking autopilot after creation? What He gave us was perfection that could last a thousand generation. But when we chose sin and the consequences gave birth to more rottenness, He didn’t say ‘Not my problem guys. I did my part.’ Instead He sent Jesus to take that painful extra mile to save us all. And although it was enough, His grace still overflows. Note His answers to our prayers. His timely protection. His daily provision. These are all extra love. And what do we do with our extra supplies? Yes, we give it out : )