Image by Dirk Wouters from Pixabay

Do you ever feel like God couldn’t use you in His service?

Do you think you’re not qualified, because you don’t have any unique gifts?

Do you think ministry is just for pastors or other specially talented people like musicians and singers?

Banish these thoughts from your mind.

God can use anyone in the service of His Kingdom, and He has gifted each one of us with a unique combination of talents, skill sets, personalities, and backgrounds. There are people you can reach for the gospel that no one else can.

If you need more convincing, let’s take a look at the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. It took place at a time when Jerusalem’s walls and gates were in a shambles, which left the city vulnerable to attack from enemies.

Everyone’s help was needed to complete the repair work, and that included some of the most unlikely people.

Nehemiah 3 gives us a rundown of the people who were involved in rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem. All the citizens did their part in this huge project.

Included in the list are some interesting people, some you might not expect to find on a roster of construction workers.

Like a perfume-maker.


Not exactly someone you’d think of first if you needed some manual labour done. But there he is, listed in Nehemiah 3:8:

“Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.”

Hananiah the perfumer gamely and faithfully contributed his labour to the important task of rebuilding Jerusalem, despite the fact that he probably didn’t have much experience in construction.

The list of surprising people doesn’t end there.

“Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.” (Nehemiah 3:12)

Image by Angelo Esslinger from Pixabay

Shallum’s daughters pitched in with the construction work, too. At that time it was rather unusual for women to be engaged in this type of labour; the ancient world didn’t exactly have equal opportunity laws.

Was there anyone who didn’t help with the rebuilding work?

Yes. Verse 5 tells us that “the nobles would not put their shoulders to the work.” Other translations say that they wouldn’t stoop to do the work, or wouldn’t lift a finger. They were either too lazy to help, or they thought the work beneath them. Either way, these slackers were put to shame by the perfumers and women who humbly and enthusiastically served the Lord.

The lesson?

Nehemiah shows us that everyone can be used in God’s service if they’re willing.

There is a place for you in God’s work, even if you’re different from other people and don’t seem to fit the mould. The work of the church requires the effort of every member of the body of Christ.

Find a place to serve and start contributing whatever you can, whether it be time, money, talent, or simply encouragement.

We need you!

© 2022 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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