Side by Side

by Doris Hoover

In the summer, my backyard garden has an assortment of flowering plants. Plumbagos add a lovely shade of periwinkle to the color scheme. Mexican petunias chime in with purple, while roses stand out in bright red. I specifically chose those plants for their colors. As they grow side by side, they beautify my yard.

The beauty of God’s kingdom is displayed when many different people labor side by side to accomplish His work. We find a perfect example of that in the book of Nehemiah. The wall around the city of Jerusalem was broken and the gates burned. There were huge gaps where rocks lay in heaps on the ground. Under Nehemiah’s leadership, people worked side by side to rebuild the broken sections. “The repairs next to him were made by the priests from the surrounding region. Beyond them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house, and next to them, Azariah son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs beside his house” (Nehemiah 3: 22-23 NIV).

The list goes on, naming people with various vocations and social standing. Even though the wall extended around the whole city, by laboring side by side, each on his own section, the people were able to take on an enormous task.

As writers, speakers, and others in Christian ministry, we labor side by side to accomplish the enormous task of reaching the world with God’s message. We each have unique skill sets and individual experiences that help us relate to others. God equips us with all we need to do the work He sets before us.

There’s no room for comparison, envy, or competition because we’re not competing with one another. We each have our own area in which to work. Your success helps to fill your gap, my success helps to fill my gap, so together, we carry out God’s work.

The entire field of wordsmithing is like a garden with a variety of plants. Some people write fiction; others write non-fiction. Some are gifted speakers; others have creative genius in putting words on paper. Then there are those who coach, mentor, edit, and publish. Each talent enhances the whole effort to reach the world with Good News.

God assigns each of us a part. Our style may be tailored to relate to a specific group of people. Another person may have a story that relates to countless people in many places. As we each work faithfully on our unique message, we become part of God’s bigger plan.

The only way the Israelites could repair the entire city wall was through a joint effort. The task was too big for one person. Likewise, for those of us who feel called to a particular aspect of ministry, the task is too big for one person. The Lord equips each of us to fill a specific gap. As we work to fulfill our own task, we help achieve God’s bigger plan. Let’s work happily and faithfully side by side in a joint effort to share God’s message with the entire world.

The God of heaven will give us success. Nehemiah 2:20 NIV  

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: If you’re looking for Doris Hoover, she’ll be somewhere between the Sunshine State of Florida and Sunrise County, Maine. Most likely, you’ll find her outside collecting ideas for her writing. Her love of God and nature inspire the devotions she writes. Doris is a mother of three and a grandmother of five. She and her husband Tim enjoy traveling to visit their family. Doris has won awards for her devotions. In addition to being published in The Upper Room,, Arise Daily e-devotionals, and, Doris is also a contributor to many compilations such as Arise to Peace, Short and Sweet, Light for the Writer’s Soul, and more. Her first book is Quiet Moments in The Villages, A Treasure Hunt Devotional. You can visit her website and blog at

Join the conversation: Do you have experience in working as a team in God’s kingdom? Please share!


4 thoughts on “Side by Side

  1. One great place to see this principle in action is in the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. There is not competition or rivalry, just cheering each other on as we serve in God’s kingdom together. Such an honor to be associated with such a wonderful group of women.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Doris, thank you for writing on this topic. It is very needed and relevant. It’s so easy to fall into comparisons with our companions on the same journey for God’s glory through ministry. I knew at one time I was 10 on a 10 scale in being jealous of others’s ministries. I remember thinking I wanted a ministry like another speaker who had endured many trials and was a world wide ambassador for God. I was jealous and envious. Then God seemed to whisper in my heart, “Oh? And you also want the horrible trials she has had?” Oppsss. Shut my mouth. Like Job, I put my hand over my mouth and repented of my complaining and comparisons. That famous speaker is with the Lord now and so far God is keeping me alive to continue sharing my own personal journey in whatever way He desires. There’s lots more peace and more glory to God without jealousy, envy, comparisons, and complaints. Praise God. Thank you for sharing, Doris.


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