READ: 1 Samuel 29-31
THINK: Charlie Plumb was a fighter pilot who flew an F-4 on 74 successful combat missions before being shot down on his 75th mission, less than one week before he was due to return him. He spent the next 2103 days as a prisoner of war, being tortured in communist war prisons. Years after this experience, Plumb was eating in a restaurant when he noticed a man who kept looking at him from a few tables away. Eventually the man came up to him and said, “You’re Captain Plumb. He said, “You flew jet fighters in Vietnam. You were on the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down. You parachuted into enemy hands and spent six years as a prisoner of war.”
Plumb asked the man, “How in the world did you know all that?”
He replied, “Because, I packed your parachute.”
This interaction not only amazed and surprised Plumb, but it also caused him to stay up late into that night thinking about this man who had packed his parachute. He realized that he had probably seen the man many times aboard the Kitty Hawk. He wondered how many times he had walked right past the parachute packer without so much as acknowledging his existence or saying a word to him because Plumb was a hero fighter pilot and this man was a simple sailor. Plumb realized that he took the very existence of this man for granted until one day when his plane was shot down and he needed that parachute to save his life.
This story calls to mind David’s actions in 1 Samuel 30. Not once but twice do we find David showing concern for those the world would overlook. First, David’s men come upon a young man who had been abandoned by the retreating enemy army. David took pity on him. He gave him water to drink and food to eat, and the man ended up providing David with some valuable information to help him save his family. Later, when some of his men were too exhausted to fight in battle, David left them behind to guard the supplies. When the army got back they didn’t want to share in the spoils with those who had stayed, but David refused to make a distinction and treat them as “less than.”
There are so many people who are overlooked and forgotten, even within the church. Many serve in silence and obscurity, and nobody ever celebrates them or makes much of their contributions. They work behind the scenes, they pray fervently, they set up and clean up, and more. You may be one of those people. If you are, thank you! I think there are two things for all of us to take away: 1. Every single job in God’s economy is critically important. God gifts each of us in special ways so that we can work together and compliment each other to build his church. 2. We need to appreciate each other and be thankful for the roles that others play. We need each other; that’s how God designed it. And there are no small people or small jobs in God’s kingdom!
PRAY: Take some time to think about all the people – and all the small and often details that they take care of – that have blessed you by their willingness to use the gifts God has given them to serve others. Thank God for them today.