As a child, growing up on a farm, there were plenty of opportunities to fix fence, split wood and find lost cattle. At times the cattle proved too adept at escaping the confines of the fences, so the posts were lengthened and more levels of plank were installed. One day as my father and I worked on the fence, he came alongside me and showed me what he needed me to do. He measured a section of fencepost, then scored it with the point of a 40 penny nail and lifted the heavy end of a plank, pushing it up to the mark on the post. “All I’m asking you to do is hold it to this mark,” he said. “After I level out the other end and nail it, I’ll come back down here and nail this end.” So I stood there, with my back to his work, staring out into the pasture, holding this plank.
The first few moments weren’t bad…then time seemed to wear on…and on. I became tired and distracted. Before long, my father was standing beside me looking down at the post.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“You’ve let the plank slip.”
He was right. He lifted it back up and said, “Hold whatcha’ got. That’s all you have to do for now. I’m going to work on the other end, and then, then I will come back down to this end and we’ll nail it up. I haven’t forgotten about you. Just hold whatcha’ got.”
I think about this at times when I’m shouldering a load, a responsibility, a task that God has given me. He places it into my stewardship, and then he seems to take His time working elsewhere. I grow tired, and impatient while I wait on Him…and I slip away from His mark on my post. It’s at those times that He draws alongside and says, “I haven’t forgotten about you. Hold whatcha’ got.” I can trust Him in these moments, after all, He did make some promises: “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Ps.27:14), “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Gal. 6:9), “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ( Heb. 13:5b).
If the burden is great, “hold whatcha’ got” until He lifts it. Concern yourself with the “mark”, the standard, that He has laid out for you. He hasn’t forgotten you; He may be working on the other end. He knows what He is doing…and He knows right where you are.