Be Strong, and Get to Work

by Joanna Pierce on October 31, 2018

When I was younger, my family would spend vacations on the lovely beach of the Atlantic coast. When you’re out in the sun, surrounded by sand and waves, the world’s your oyster in finding something fun to do. If we weren’t diving in the water, boogie-boarding on the waves, racing up and down the beach, digging for sand crabs, or scouring for seas shells, we were building sand castles.

Our sand castles never were listed as a “wonder of the world,” but they were architectural feats, towers of majesty, and breath-taking creations. I may have had a slightly skewed opinion of my work, but given limited sources of sand, a few buckets, and a shovel, I felt I had met all the criterion for the Pritzker…

I had talent, I had vision, I had commitment, and I had produced a structure, which I felt was a significant contribution to humanity and the environment at the time. However, it lacked one quality: structural integrity.

With the dawning of a new day, my family would return to the beach bright and early for more fun-in-the-sun. But, I would discover, all too frequently, how the waves had completely demolished my wondrous formation. Occasionally, I’d see the remains of a tower or two, but sand “rubble” was all that lingered.

Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts (Haggai 2:2–3, KJV).

When the temple was destroyed, only its ruins remained to remind God’s people of its former glory. The time and investment God’s people poured into the temple in its first construction was hours on top of hours. My single tear and brief sniffle over the destruction of my sand castle did not compare with the utter lament of God’s people when they gazed upon the temple’s rubble.

It would have been very easy for them to think rebuilding the temple wasn’t possible. Or, that it would have required way too much time and energy (work) to do it again. They could have had a once-and-never-again mentality. But, they heeded the Word of God when He spoke a very simple statement. I’m paraphrasing here, but He said: be strong, and get to work.

In God’s kingdom, we’re told there will be bad days. We’ll be hated of men for worshipping the One, true God. Family will forsake us. We’ll lose our jobs. Our church building could foreclose. But, there isn’t time to get offended. There isn’t time to cry over “spilled milk.” There isn’t time to give up.

As God’s people, we can’t stand around and look at what’s been destroyed in our life by the enemy. Why? Because God’s given us enough strength to push past the devastation, the worry, the pain, the trial—whatever it is—and get back to work for His kingdom.

When I saw my ruined sand castle, I was shocked and saddened. But, in the worn-down sand, I saw a new canvas. There was a new land where a new foundation for another sand castle could be built. And, I wasted no time in getting back to work to reconstruct my castle in all its former glory. But, this time, I would fortify its walls, build a moat, and add a few more tweaks to the design to make it even stronger.

Saint of God, you might be standing in the rubble of a former situation today. But, God’s words are still speaking to us: be strong, and get to work. It’s time to rebuild. It’s time to get back in the harvest. God has a new work that has yet to be done. It’s not the end. It’s the time for a new beginning.

Get ready to see what He has in store for you once you get back to work. You’ve got all the strength you need.