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Galatians 4:11: “I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.”

I remember once helping my father on a local job site one weekend years ago. We were building a new chimney and fireplace for a neighbor who lived a few miles out of town. While my father was building the fireplace inside, 2 more brickmasons were building the narrow chimney outside. Now, this man’s house had a very steep-pitched roof, so it was a tall skinny chimney. On top of that, he had 2 different sets of bricks; they were not noticeable to the untrained eye as different, but one set was a little longer than the other set. The 2 brickmasons had to mix those bricks as they laid the chimney; they were using short levels to keep their work straight. The chimney was capped by a 4-inch thick concrete chimney cap (and boy, was it heavy to have to lug and to pull up to that chimney top!)

Since he finished first, Daddy was able to go outside and look at the other brickmasons’ progress. Up close, everything seemed fine. It wasn’t until the owner called my father down the long driveway to look at the chimney from the main road. Then, he saw that the chimney was not straight but was actually cork-screwing around as it went up! If the brickmasons had used long levels, they would’ve seen that their progress was going off course. As to be expected, Daddy had us tear down the entire chimney back to the roof AFTER we removed the 4-inch chimney cap which had been put in place. Needless to say, we were all exasperated that our work had been in vain, and that we had to build it right, all over again. However, it would have been wrong to leave the chimney the way it was.

Paul was stating how afraid he was for the Galatian Christians; he didn’t want them to become mired in the legalism that the Judaizers were trying to push on them. He wanted his fellow Christians to grow and to mature in the faith. He didn’t want all his efforts to be in vain if it didn’t result in the church growing the right way in Christ.

Remember, Jesus died for our sins. His sacrifice is a free gift to us, that we have the choice to accept. If we accept it, we are guaranteed life eternal in Heaven with Him. To say no to this gift…would be that His death would’ve been in vain.

Something to think about today.

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