So we laboured in the work, and half of the men held the spears from daybreak until the stars appeared. At the same time I also said to the people, "Let each man and his servant stay at night in Jerusalem, that they may be our guard by night and a working party by day." So neither I, my brethren, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me took off our clothes, except that everyone took them off for washing. – Nehemiah 4v21-23
This phrase is so summative of the entire situation of building the wall and of our duty today. It is clear, concise, and direct. It doesn’t need a lot of explanation.
‘So we laboured in the work.’ Despite the fears, the discouragements, the anxiety, the opposition, the back aches, the blisters, the sore muscles, the sweat, and everything else that hard work brings – they laboured on.
We can often think that living for God and serving Him is a life of luxury and ease. We are surprised when things get hard. We think that we are really ‘suffering for Jesus’ when all we are really doing is our reasonable service.
The work has to be done. Just like Nehemiah had to build the walls we have to do our work. So we labour. We know that our labour is not in vain so we are steadfast and unmoveable in our labour. We abound in our labour.
So we labour. We just do it. May we always keep that in mind.