I had to plant some trees in the yard. Before going out to do it, I asked Cole if he’d like to help me. He jumped up, his eyes sparkling with excitement. He was more than happy to “assist.”
We put our things into a wheelbarrow and struck out for the other side of the yard. All along the way, he kept asking me how we were going to plant the trees, where we were going to plant the trees, and if he was my best buddy in the whole, wide world.
We started digging the holes. I used my adult-sized metal shovel, and he used his child-sized plastic one. For every four shovelfuls of dirt I lifted out of the hole, he lifted a half-shovelful. Every rock and stick he came across had to be scrutinized, categorized as “a good one” or “a not good one” and put in its corresponding pile beside the hole.
After a much longer length of time than it would have taken me to do it by myself, we got the trees planted. Did Cole help me? Yes. Could I have planted those trees without his help? Absolutely. If I had to do it all over again, would I have refused his assistance? Never in a million years.
It reminds me of what happens when we join our heavenly Father in the salvation work he calls us to. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.”
Does God need our help? No. Can he save lost people without us? Absolutely. Yet for some reason, God chooses to ask us to assist him, even though sometimes we tend to get off task by doing fruitless things, such as scrutinizing rocks and sticks. Even though we may not be able to do as much of the work as he does. Even though we may even sometimes get in his way.
God has asked us to “assist” him in his salvation work by telling others who Jesus is, and what he’s done for us. We should answer his request with excitement and diligence. What little assistance we can offer him is better than refusing to assist him at all.
Parrish Myers is a local minister. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.