This is the Work

Last week, my kids got vaccinations. 

As the nurse set out the band-aids and calmly talked us through the process, I appreciated her efficiency and adeptness.

Later that same day, my son had football practice. It was raining. The coach, who arrived before anyone else, put on his rain gear and got ready for the bus load of players. His efficiency and adeptness shone as he greeted the players by name and got them started on calisthenics.

My phone rang. Someone was enjoying ministry, but struggled with the difficult complaints and hard-to-please people. I thought about the efficiency and adeptness of the nurse and the coach that seemed to say louder than any words ever could, “This is the work that God has given you to do. Excel at this work!”

Instead of viewing interuptions, difficulties, or obstacles as hindrances to the work that God has called us to do, we should shift our focus and see them as the work God wants us to do. I am sure the nurse and the coach never have a day where everything goes as planned. Sometimes, it rains. Sometimes, a kid throws a fit. However, when they take it in stride, viewing it as the work to be done, efficiency and adeptness culminate in a joyful spirit instead of a discouraged one.

Many years ago, there was a little boy who came to my Sunday School class. He was three years old and lived with his grandmother. He was a quiet little boy, and I hardly took notice of him. I do remember often being frustrated that class didn’t go exactly right or discouraged that the children didn’t understand much of what I was teaching them. I did not view the distractions and disappointments as the work. I didn’t even see the work that God was doing in my heart or in the hearts of my little students.

The little boy’s grandmother died the next year. When he went forward alone to her open casket and patted her hands, I wept. I weep still just thinking about that. I began to realize then that God doesn’t just work in little Sunday school students for one hour on Sunday mornings. His is a work in progress.

The little boy is an adult now, with a child of his own. He recently came and shared with us how his faith has helped him to say no to addictive behaviors. He believes what his grandma believed because she was wise enough to know that this little boy was the work! Because Jesus made a difference in her life, she was willing to roll up her sleeves and do the hard work of child raising, even through the distractions and disappointments, because this was the work Jesus gave her to do.

Do you find yourself disgusted or discouraged by difficulty? Just remember, this is the work He has given you to do. Ask Him to help you tackle it with efficiency, adeptness, and joy.

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