|(photo by Celia Darrigo)|
And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up. (Ezra 5:11)
While rebuilding the Temple, the workers were confronted by the Persia-appointed governor. He demanded to know who gave permission for their construction project. They boldly replied "We are the servant of the God of heaven and earth."
It isn't always easy to speak up for our faith in an unbelieving world, but we do. On a similar parallel, I watch as my friends begin to restore their lives and homes after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. I marvel over that one small town on the Jersey Shore, Ocean Grove. A little square mile under the watchful eye of God (and the Neptune Township Police) has begun to rebuild. They have removed the majority of the debris and had already begun repairs before the snow storm hit later that week. You may say that the destruction they experienced was not as great as others, which is true in part; however, they have one thing that many other communities do not have - they have a foundation and a faith more firmly planted in God's word than on their material possessions. This is not to say that other communities are "heathens" or "atheistic" - Ocean Grove residents (the majority of them) do not hesitate to remind the world that their allegiance is to God first.
When we contemplate the reactions and criticisms of hostile people, we can become paralyzed with fear. If we try to offend no one or please everyone, our effectiveness will be stopped. God is our leader, and his rewards are most important. Don't be intimidated. Let others know by your words and your actions that you do, in fact, serve God!