“A Lesson From Latin America”

A Lesson From Latin America

Wade Webster

 One of the things that has always impressed me about Latin America is a distinctive feature of its architecture. Many of the roofs are flat and made of concrete. I suppose that there is nothing all that distinctive about either of those things. The distinctive feature that I have in mind is the steel rebar that usually sticks out of the roofs at each corner and at intervals in between. The rebar detracts a little (okay, a lot) from the beauty of the structure. Why then do they leave it exposed? They leave it exposed because they hope to one day add on to the structure. The exposed rebar will give them a place to tie the new part to the old part. Perhaps, they don’t need the space at the moment, but anticipate needing it in the future. More likely, they are out of money at the moment and must put off additional construction until they have it.

Personally, I love to see the rebar; especially, on church buildings. It means that the brethren aren’t finished yet. It means that they have hopes and dreams of bigger and better things. Of course, these hopes and dreams must be combined with asking and seeking. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Mt. 7:7-11). As you know, we serve a God who can do more than we can ask or think. Paul wrote, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20). Often, we don’t have what we need or what we want because we do not ask. James wrote, “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask” (Jam. 4:2). To receive, we must ask. To find, we must seek.

Not only must brethren add asking and seeking to hoping and dreaming, they must add planting and watering. Paul wrote, “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it” (1 Cor. 3:5-10). To reap, we must plant and water.

Let’s learn a lesson from our brethren in Latin America. Let’s leave a little rebar sticking out to let everyone know that we aren’t finished yet. Then, let’s combine our hopes and dreams with asking, seeking, planting, and watering, that God might give the increase.