Over a year ago my company located in a new area which forced me to have to take public transportation to work. Every morning I would take the Long Island Railroad train from Wyandanch to Hicksville, New York which is about a fifteen-minute ride. When I get off my stop, my job is right across from the train station and it allows me to walk to my job. The train that I travel on from east to west is called the Ronkonkoma train line. If a train breakdown on that line or gets into an accident with a vehicle or pedestrian, the incident can cause major delays for hours until the problem is fixed.
Some people catching the train on this train line even have to wait for hours. However, around the same time that I started catching the train to work, the Long Island Railroad began construction on putting in a second track on the Ronkonkoma line and also building a new station in the town of Wyandanch. The men at work doing the construction also began working on building two new platforms which would allow trains to travel from east to west and a bridge which allowed passengers to cross over from one side of the platform to the next. The construction started around September 2017 and was to be completed by no later than the end of September 2018.
Each morning I would see many men laying new tracks, moving large items to build the new platform or working in high places erecting new the crosswalk. At the same time that this major construction work was taking place at the Wyandanch station, the Long Island Railroad was also doing major construction at the Hicksville station by putting in new escalators, building heated waiting rooms on the platforms and other necessary improvements to the station. The men at work at that station all worked as one, they all understood that the work had to be completed according to a specific way and the work had to be completed by a specific deadline. As I watched each day the construction that took place at both stations, there were three important principles that I learned why then men working together renovating these stations. The first thing that I learn from these men at work was that you have to remove the old to prepare for the new. A second important thing that I learn from the men at work was that the work had to be completed according to a specific design. Finally, the third thing that I learn from these men at work was that all work must be completed by a certain deadline.
So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work (Nehemiah 4:6).
Removing the old for the new
The first thing that I learn from these men at work was that you have to remove the old to prepare for the new. Each morning I arrived at the train station to catch my train, I saw the men had removed previous things that were in one area and now had been removed permanently. They had also been ripping up the old platform, leveling the ground to build on and erecting steel frames for the new things that would improve the train station. A month of ago you would have access to the entire platform to wait on your scheduled train and now a portion of the platform had become restricted access to passengers as the men at work were engaged in heavy construction. As the train arrived at of portion of could be boarded and the only part could not be boarded. The construction of the station forced people to come out of their comfort zones and to have to adjust each day of the construction process. Was it a major inconvenience each time having to walk down several cars of the train while the train was still moving at over sixty miles per hours, oh yes it was. However, all of this had to happen so all of the old stuff at these train stations could be removed so that the people could be prepared for the new things that were coming.
There are some new things that the Lord wants to do in us as men but it requires us letting go of old things. It requires us as men to letting go of old mentality and has our minds renewed by the word of God. It requires us as men to letting go of old habits which are pleasing to us but are detrimental to our relationship with the Lord and to others we care about. It requires us as men at work letting go of the old perspectives of how we view going to church and embracing God’s fresh and new perspective in being involved in an effective ministry that changes the lives of people. In Isaiah 43:18-19 the word of God says “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it”? As men at work, we must realize that none of us are perfect but the God that lives within us always does a new and perfect work. As the Lord work in us and through us there will be those times when life will be filled major inconveniences but we still have to keep on working. We will experience the Holy Spirit tearing down the old things in us it is for our benefit so that no stronghold can keep us bound. We will experience Holy Spirit raising us up to be a strong bridge of godly character that others can cross over throughout good and difficult times.
A Specific Design
A second important thing that I learn from the men at work was that the work had to be completed according to a specific design. During the construction process, there were times where it appeared like no progress was being made by the men. When the weather conditions were not favorable to work outside for the men, this caused their work to be delayed until the weather conditions improved for them. Sometimes there was a lot of torrential rain, strong winds and even snowy condition which hampered the men work in building the new the train platform. However, as the days became weeks and the weeks became months, the renovation of the station began to take shape. The new platform was built, the new station was finished on the outside and the tracks were now laid for Wyandanch to have a two-track station. Though there had been many times were it appeared things were just not moving to the onlookers driving each day, what had been done so far was according to the specific plan and design of the men at work.
My brother, I am here today to tell you that the delay that you have experienced is not God-denying you the answers to your prayers. You feel like when you take one step forward, something happens and sets you ten steps back. The just winds have been blowing around you causing major damage to your life and all the while you feel like all of Heaven is silent. However, the word of God still says in Psalms 34:15 that “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry”. The Lord silence is not evidenced He is not working in your, on the contrary, His silence that He is doing something specific according to His plan and design. The suffering that you have had to endure has been part of His tool of refinement so that you can come forth as pure gold. The pain which you thought would be too hard to bear and would break you was part of God’s design to make you stronger man of God. Your times of feeling like a broken man was God’s design to establish a platform for you so that you could share your testimony on how God kept you from losing heart. In Psalms 27:13 the word of God says “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed. That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living”.
Meeting the deadline
Finally, the third thing that I learn from these men at work was that all work must be completed by a certain deadline. Prior before the completion of the Hicksville and Wyandanch train stations, I noticed the construction work with the men really picked up. The men at work began working longer hours and weekends so that they would not miss their deadline of getting work completed. Several times weekend train schedules were canceled from one point of the Ronkonkoma line to the other because the construction working to finish the new look train stations. Those who caught the trains on the weekend would have to make adjustments in their travel by taking buses which made their travel a little longer in them arriving at their destinations. However, in the end, the new Wyandanch station, second platform, and bridge were all done and ready for the public to use so that they could have a better commuter experience riding the train.
As men at work in the Kingdom of God we took must not only start the work that God has given but we must complete the work as well. The time is a resource that we have and it is a resource we must not waste. We procrastinate or waste our time on doing things God never told us to do, other people will suffer and we could lose opportunities that we might not ever get back again. In John 17:4 the word of God says that “Jesus finished or completed the work that Father gave Him to do”. As long as we still have breath in our lungs and we are clothed in our right minds we have God’s grace to meet the deadline and complete the work. We have God’s grace to meet the deadline regarding our families so that the victory we experience ministering to others in the world our households will be saved. We have God’s grace to meet the deadlines on our jobs so that we not giving all our time in the marketplace and we can have quality time for ourselves. We have God’s grace to meet the deadlines and to finish the work so that the Lord can reward us by taking us to another level in Him and into the greater works He already has prepared for us. In John 14:12 the word of God says “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father”.