The Nail

I recently came across a neat fable by the famous author anonymous.  It seems some Christians built a new church building and invited everyone to come see it. All admired its beauty. Up on the roof, a little nail heard the people praising everything about the new building. They praised everything but him. No one even knew he was there, and he became angry and jealous. “If I am that insignificant, nobody will miss me if I quit,” he said to himself. So the nail released its hold, slid down off the roof, and fell in the mud.

          That night it rained and rained. 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 precious Bibles were ruined by water. All this because a little nail decided to quit! While holding the shingle, the nail was obscure, but it was also useful. Buried in the mud, it was just as obscure, but now it was useless and would soon be eaten up by rust.

          How many times do we feel like the nail?  I’m not important.  What can I do?  No one will ever miss me?  Yet, YOU are important. You are needed.  Your place serves a purpose.  And your absence is felt.

          Consider Paul’s words in Rom 12:3-8. “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. “

          Everyone has a place in the Lord’s Family.  There are no unimportant people. No little people.  Your  role may seem obscure and insignificant, but you have a purpose in the Kingdom. You are needed.  Valued.  And wanted.

          Maybe part of our challenge is recognizing and encouraging one another.  How easy it is to take the nail for granted until it no longer holds the shingle in place and now we have a leaky roof.  In the same way, we may often take for granted the seemingly “small” efforts of some Christians, until they are no longer there.

          Brethren, “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Heb. 10:24.)  And may we always appreciate the worth and value of each individual and their gift. 

          Don’t quit, my brother or sister.  Your church family needs YOU.   And YOU need the Lord.  And so in the words of Edward Everett Hale may we each say, “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”             

     —Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

8 Comments

Filed under Discipleship, Encouragement

8 responses to “The Nail

  1. Lillie Ramage

    Great thoughts. Thank you for helping me remember We are all important!

  2. Rich Walker

    Bro Ken, Thanks for today’s blog. I appreciate what Hale said. Phil 4:13, for I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. When there is “Christ + 1” great things can be accomplished. Paul also says in Phil 3:13-14 … “I press forward to the goal for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Don’t loose heart. We need to keep our focus — keep being that reflective light of our glorious God. God Bless.

  3. You have hit upon a very relavent principle. Preachers often feel use their sermons to confront evils (both moral and social) and occasionally to preach the Gospel (that business about Jesus) but they almost never stop to acknowledge the contribution to the Lord’s work being made by individual members of the congregation. Ideally preachers and elders should help the other folks in the church by finding out what kind of ministry they feel drawn to engage in and then empowering them through encouragement, training, prayer, and public acknowledgement. A lot of the time, people are already engaged in a wide variety of little private ministries and a bit of recognition and the occasional offer of help would likely go a long way.

  4. By the way, I find it very encouraging that you are free to quote Edward Everett Hale without catching any flack. As you are probably aware, he was a Unitarian and therefore, by Church of Christ standards, a false teacher. There was a time when even a short quote from outside the fold made you suspect in the eyes of the (Big Brother)hood.

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