The Right Partner

Marcia Laycock is a pastor’s wife and mother of three grown daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone, and has published two devotional books, Spur of the Moment, and Focused Reflections. Visit her website –

The smell of British Columbia pine was heavy in the air that morning. The whine of the saws and the giant conveyor belt was deafening. I donned the hard hat I’d just been given and pulled on a pair of heavy work gloves. There were several men in the yard, big, burly, six-foot-something men, waiting to start their shift at the sawmill. They were all staring at me. Before I could change my mind and walk away, the foreman, yelling above the noise, showed me where to stand and what to do. Working with a partner, I had to catch one end of the long strips of lumber as they came flying off the conveyor, and stack them in a neat pile. My partner glared at me, obviously not at all happy to be paired with a 5 ft.1 female.

By the time we took our first break, he wasn’t the only one who was unhappy. I was on the edge of tears. I had dropped more boards than I had caught and our pile was small and far from neat. It was obvious I couldn’t do this job. I was about to head for the foreman’s shack to quit when one of the other men stopped me and spoke to my partner. “Switch with me. I’ll work with her for the rest of the morning.” I gulped. This man was even bigger. And he wasn’t smiling as he left his place at the conveyor. But, to my relief, he quickly showed me how to toss the lumber, using the momentum of the wood without taking its full weight. Within a few minutes I knew I could do it, despite my small size. The work was still hard but it was manageable. By the next day I was even beginning to enjoy it. Because that man was willing to leave his place and work beside me, to help me, I was able to do a job I thought completely beyond my capabilities.

Like that man at the sawmill, Jesus was willing to leave his privileged place in heaven to work alongside us, to become one of us. With Jesus as our partner, any job is manageable, even enjoyable. And he is very willing to become our partner. Listen to what he says in Matthew 11:28 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

There have been many times I’ve wanted to quit being a writer. Sometimes the job just felt overwhelming and beyond my capabilities. But then I’d remember that man at the sawmill and I’d remember that I have a partner beside me, one who is teaching me all I need to know in order to do all that He has planned for me to do.