David Discovers the Joy of Serving Others

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“Come on, Skippy!” David yelled as he raced across the field. “Let’s see if Papa wants to go fishing.” David found Papa loading tools into his truck.

“Hey, Papa!” he called. “Let’s go catch some of those goggle-eyes in the creek.”

“I can’t right now,” Papa answered. “I’m getting ready to fix Mr. Jack’s back porch.”

“But he can’t pay you for helping. And besides, he’s a real grouch — always yelling and complaining about everything!”

“I’m not doing it for money or because he’s a close friend,” Papa said. “Mr. Jack needs help, so I’m helping him. Do you remember the verse about doing good that pastor used in his sermon last week?”

“I think so,” David replied. “‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up’” (Galatians 6:9, NIV).

Papa smiled. “That’s it, and that’s what I’m doing — serving God by serving others.”

David’s shoulders slumped. “But what do you get out of it? And besides, I really wanted you to go fishing with me this afternoon.”

“Well, you have a choice then,” Papa replied. “Fishing by yourself or helping me work on Mr. Jack’s porch. If I finish quickly, maybe we’ll have time to fish.”

“But I don’t know anything about building stuff,” David whined.

“Then there’s no better time to learn than now.”

Papa grabbed some boards, and the two of them took off. He showed David how to pull up the old, rotted boards and replace them with the new boards he had already cut. Soon Mr. Jack had a solid back porch. He showed his thanks by bringing Papa and David ice-cold lemonade and fresh molasses cookies.

“Wow!” David exclaimed. “These cookies are great!”

Mr. Jack beamed. “I made them myself. Say, I didn’t know you were such a good carpenter.”

“I’m not,” David confessed. “Papa had to show me how.”

“No shame in that,” Papa said. “We all have to learn sometime. So, Jack, can we help with anything else?”

“No,” Mr. Jack answered. “But I’m so thankful that you and David fixed this porch for me. My little granddaughter almost fell through last month, and I’ve been afraid to let her come over ever since. She’s been so disappointed, and my days are lonely without her. But now she can visit and play safely.”

“Well, David and I have some serious fishing to do, so we’ll say goodbye and head out,” Papa said.

David looked at Papa. “Fixing that porch for Mr. Jack made me feel good. I like that the work we did made his home safer for him and his granddaughter. Now I see what God meant about us reaping a reward for what we do for others. It isn’t money; it isn’t hearing others say thank you. It’s knowing that we’re being more like Jesus, who was constantly doing things for others.”

“You’re so right, David.”

Marcia Sanders
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Marcia Sanders is the mother of three: Matthew, Adam, and April (Brann), and she is "nana" to Ava and Jonah Brann. Since she retired from her career in education, Marcia and Randy have enjoyed spending time with their children and grandchildren, as well as camping, hiking, motorcycling, kayaking, and traveling.