Trust me I haven’t gone off the deep end and this will make sense if you stick around to read it. We had our house built for us about 12 years ago and I remember going by each day to see it coming together. As the framing of the house went up I was filled with anticipation as to what it would look like finished and with a fresh coat of paint on the walls. I would lay awake at night wondering how my furniture would look and what color of carpet I would choose. The framing was the most exciting part for me. Once it was up I could picture how my house would look when done. So much time went into cutting each board to the exact length and then piece-by-piece the boards were fit together to build the frame that holds our house up. During that time nails were everywhere.
Those nails were an important piece to the puzzle. Each of those nails plays a special part in holding our home together. Over the past 12 years, it is in the walls of our house that I have watched my family grow and mature in the Lord. It is within those walls my husband and I grow older (not old, just older) together. If the walls could talk they would tell of both laughter and heartache. Within the walls, we have held Bible study, hosted youth events, fed sports teams and spent time with the Lord. Inside those walls are the nails that hold them together and someday if God is willing I will rock my grand babies inside those walls.
Frosting is kind of like those nails--a baker cannot hold his or her cake together without the frosting. Can you imagine a frosting-less wedding cake? Layer upon layer with nothing to hold it together. It would be a challenge to build it and most likely it would not be successful. So I am guessing by now you are seeing that I am looking at what holds things together. I am hungry as I write this so let’s get back to the cake. It sounds good.
I like cake, it is good but it is not the same without frosting. Frosting can come in all flavors and colors and the elaborate cakes that are baked are works of art. Have you ever stood in a bakery and taken in a deep breath. Please don’t tell anyone but I just noticed I was taking a deep breath in through my nose like I thought I was going to smell something yummy baking. I don’t bake so in my house that was not even worth doing. My friend owns a bakery and I love to go see her beautiful creations and take in the wonderful smell. I watched her decorate a gingerbread house in a contest this last Christmas and again frosting was the key to holding it together.
Now that I have you hungry and wanting something sweet, try to concentrate on what I am saying. This might sound strange but trust me! I will bring it around to make sense. Each of us, is like the nails in the framing of a house. Or you could say, each of us, is like the frosting that holds the layers of a cake together. Since I love cake let’s stick with that analogy and look at our churches. We can say one layer of the cake is our praise and worship time during church and the next layer is the sermon. Both layers are good to sink our teeth into. The problem is what is holding those layers together. We, the body of the church are as the saying goes, “The icing on the cake.” Just as a house cannot stand without nails and a cake cannot stand without frosting, how can our churches stand without the body actively working to hold it together? Our churches need more than just bodies that are showing up on Sunday to warm a seat. Nails have to be actively hammered into just the right spot to hold the frame of a house together. Bakers have to frost the cake carefully to get the right amount of frosting into just the right place. They turn the cake and gently frost it to build a beautiful work of art for people to enjoy. In just the same way God has a perfect spot for each of us in our churches but we have to allow him to hammer us in or frost us into just the right spot for our individual gifts.
If the nails were falling out of the framing in our houses, they would eventually fall to the ground. The same goes for a cake if the frosting is scraped off and disregarded the cake can tip over. Simply put, you can’t build a house without nails, a cake won’t hold together without frosting. The same is true for our churches. We need to be like the nails that hold our homes together. Each of us needs to be plugged in and for this analogy; hammered into the church and serving. We need to be like the icing on the cake that holds it together. As I said, cake is good but it is even better with frosting.
You can’t build a house without nails and, a cake holds together with frosting. I pray that if you are reading this and you will seek God as to where He can use you in your church if you are not already serving. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8. There are so many ways you can serve. Ask your pastor where the church needs help. God gave all for each of us, how much are you willing to give to him?