This was never going to be a typical funeral.
This was the celebration of a life well lived by a mother to 11 children. A strong farmers wife who not only milked the cows, preserved the fruit but also cared with deep love for each of her children.
One of the children spoke of getting up in the middle of the night and walking past her mother’s bedroom. Sitting on the edge of the bed, her mother was seen knitting a garment while the rest of the house slept.
A few weeks later it was the young child’s birthday and she was presented with some newly knitted baby clothes for her little doll. The only time this mother had to give was a time she went without sleep.
At the time Mrs Osborne was a mother to her children.
At this time you are a ________ to _______
Wherever you are right now is the place for you to be of service.
Maybe you are rebuilding your own life or helping someone else. Whatever the situation we are all connected with someone who is possibly fighting a huge battle of restoration.
The Biblical character Nehemiah senses a calling to go and rebuild the shattered and broken lives of his fellow Jews back in Jerusalem. The fortified wall of their city is now just a pile of rubble. He prays and seeks God to help him.
Then there is this little verse that is oddly spliced into the narrative.
At the time, I was cupbearer to the king. Nehemiah 1:11
A small contextual detail that we could so easily flick past in a matter of seconds. A time, a role, and a place of influence.
You see a cup-bearer wasn’t some part-time Café worker. A cup-bearer was one that checked all the food and drink given at the Kings table. If the King was suspicious that poison was in the Pinot Noir then Nehemiah would have been the one to drink it first.
It was this level of trust and closeness to the King that gave Nehemiah such a unique God orchestrated opportunity. We don’t know how he got to this position, but from this place of trust Nehemiah had the ability to influence the power of a King.
Nehemiah was the right person in the right place at the right time.
My favourite story though is of someone who was named as the ‘Poor but wise man’.
There was a small town with only a few people in it. A great king fought against it and put his armies all around it. 15 Now there was a poor but wise man in the town who used his wisdom to save his town. But later on, everyone forgot about him. Ecclesiastes 9: 14, 15
These are of course wonderful and amazing stories of nations saved, cities rebuilt and battles being won. Stories that inspire greatness.
Here is the principle.
They were all people in the right place at the right time and whom made the right choices.
What does it take to do something truly great?
Recognising that you are in the right place at the right time and that that time is actually now.
Here is an example.
Sitting here as I write this I can either choose to publish or not. The quality or quantity of what I have put together here is not the issue. I am writing so that you can read. I don’t know what you are going through at the moment but I will publish this because it might just help one person or two or three.
The time is now and I have been given this opportunity to hit publish and who knows what God might be up to at the moment of reading. Many times people have come back to me to tell me how my post was so well-timed.
You are in the right place
for the right reason
at the right time
and that time is
Today I took a picture of a Bumble pollinating a flower. I added a verse to the image then I shared it through all my social media outlets. I don’t know what impact it will have. My role in the now was to create and to share.
For rebuilding your life and the lives of others you need to think about these three things.
- Where are you in the now
… at the time
… in the middle of the night
- What is a role you have
… a cup-bearer
… a mother
- Who are you in a position to serve
… the king
… a child
Was Mrs. Osborne a Nehemiah? YES
Can you be a Nehemiah? YES
God positions us in various places for particular reasons often unknown to us.
Rebuilders are aware of the context they find themselves in. The place may not have been of their choosing but they choose, by faith, to step out and serve in the here and now.
Quotes to consider
- If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when? Rabbi Hillel
- Forever is composed of nows. Emily Dickinson
- “What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh.” A.A. Milne
- You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this. Henry David Thoreau
- We cannot attain the presence of God. We’re already totally in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness. David G. Benner
- Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty. Brene Brown
Questions to answer
- Where are you in the ‘now’ and what roles do you have?
- Whom are you serving?
- Brene Brown believes that faith requires a ‘strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.’ Where do you source that strength from?