Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating bread of anxious toil;
for he gives sleep to His beloved.
Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit off the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has
his quiver full of them.
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
When I first moved to Winter Haven, twenty-one years ago now, I joined in with volunteers from this church to build a few houses for Habitat for Humanity projects. My skill suit was hospitality while other erected walls, put on roofs and did framing. Whether you used carpentry skills or demonstrated hospitality, there was one part of the building in which everyone could participate. When the framing was done, time was taken for the volunteers to wrap the house in scripture. Favorite Bible verses were written on the frames and to some degree this action showed that while many were plying their different skills, the Lord was building the house.
Usually we did rise early to get a head start on those fall or spring days that seemed hotter than usual too be doing construction. At least we were not doing it in the heat of summer.
Sometimes there were glitches in the scheduling … the weather, the delivery of materials and supplies, and sufficient volunteer for any given day. All in all the work was completed and if not in our time, then certainly in God’s. After all, we need to remember, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”
Master Designer and Skilled Carpenter, we ask Your blessing on Habitat for Humanity. Over the years in this nation and others around the world, people have been able to have homes of their own that provide good shelter, great comforts, and were built with volunteer labor and the sweat equity of the future homeowners. Keep us mindful that You are The Builder! Continue to bless this ministry, we humbly pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.